Two Poems

Watch Your Mouth

I am creating the scaffolding for my own skin,
the fatty tissues that build layer after layer,
sweat glands coiled tight,
nerves kinked like a garden hose.
You grow inside of me and I feel myself rising up
like dough, skin expanding exponentially.

I am stuck in the daily concerns of myself,
the spread of my thighs, clothes splitting at the seams.
Swath my body in yards of silks and French cottons.
Show me how to contour the new contours of myself.

I rub lotion all over my stomach and realize
I am rubbing lotion all over you.
When will we stop expanding?
I turn circles in the mirror,
checking to see where we end,
checking the calendar to see when it will all end.

I feel you snaking across the breadth of my hips,
turning circles inside my breasts and ass.
I am skeptical that you ever spent a day inside my uterus.

I am a room full of objects waiting to be compressed.
Lift up my body and place the swell of it upon a million feathers,
unravel the folds of me across the Pacific Ocean.
I am massive. I want to be weightless.


(originally printed in Bound: An Ode to Falling in Love)



Winter Swimmers

Wind carves through the trees
like waves,
the sound indiscernible
from the ocean.
We can see the harbour
if we stand outside,
our bare feet on the rough boards
creaking like a ship.
In this house
we will never be more than
8 km from the sea.

New green
covers the tops of the ferns,
spreading the valley
with startling pigment,
the old brown lengths hovering
then sinking below.
It is a comfort
to see them go,
a comfort to watch
the new patches
ease in, grow darker,
shouldering down
to take their place.

Pull back on the net of time
and return to the Age of Fish,
their first bones scattered
amongst the trilobites
beneath the seas
and spores and spores
swelling up into trees,
drinking in their waters
high above the waves.

About the author
Carolyn DeCarlo lives in Aro Valley in Wellington, New Zealand, with her partner and cats. She has written a few chapbooks, most recently Green Place (Enjoy Journal 2015) and Bound: An Ode to Falling in Love (Compound Press 2014), which she co-wrote with Jackson Nieuwland. She is a founding member of the Wellington-based reading collective, Food Court.