Oh sad potato wrapped in plastic like Laura Palmer I might have been Caroline Calloway I might have swallowed a yellow sundress a lemon yellow orchid a story to tell by a bonfire at night in a forest in Montana

my tell is a magnetic lie
my tell is a rotting animal
my tell is a broken knuckle
my tell is a tent pitched at Flathead Lake

where I traveled backward into wilderness where fire and blackberries devoured my girl soul where soil and conifers met at the trout mouth edge and blue water and black deep did not restore my sister but we rose her anyway we opened her stone and chanted up her finished flesh and worshiped her little dress her lilac crown her apples her plush rabbit

I played my violin in the forest
I thought music could fix my disease
I thought music could raise the dead

when my face doesn’t unlock my phone I panic I have become Caroline Calloway my life mere electricity I have disappeared into caves among the stalactite’s green glisten the ocean never closer than my memory of Montana there might have been horses there might have been giant hares there might have been my father building a fire raising my sister from the ashes look he said look at her perfection

there might have been monsters

Oh sad tomato wrapped in plastic like Laura Palmer I can’t breathe in the company of ghosts my breath stoppered in the vast underneath I might have been that fire girl that flame rising out of the dirt to sing into my animal body to learn the notes to let the notes shiver in my hands to be that electric god

and my legs burnt for rapture
and spider laid eggs in the cabbage
and Beulahland was a ghost town
and knots on my spine signaled disease
and coral reefs chugged their lungs out
and medicine was a puncture wound
and the plague mask was home for lice
and politicians served the angels cold
and the cat murdered the salamander
and the swimming dog drowned
and the whale’s belly tore open
and nurses bled
and rats birthed in corn
and plankton rotted
and babies were caged
and poison in the wheat
and poison in the ocean
and poison in the sky

and cells multiplied
and cells multiplied
and cells multiplied

I could not refuse any of it wrapped myself in horse flesh horse hair my bow my transmuted girl body disappeared forever into the trees


Rebecca Loudon lives and writes on an island in the Pacific Northwest. She is the author of three collections of poetry and two chapbooks. She recently finished a manuscript that explores the mind an art of Henry Darger. Rebecca is a professional musician and teaches violin lessons to children.

Cover art credit: Photo by Simon Wijers on Unsplash