There is no getting around how deeply involved a poet gets with his or her own muse. It is always a passionate yet respectful relationship.
Katarina K. Guarascio is the author of two chapbooks of poetry and two book length publications, A Scattering of Imperfections, and newly released They don’t make memories like that anymore...available through Casa de Snapdragon publishing, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobel.
Poetry Didn’t Save My Life
Poetry didn’t save my life
but we did swim naked together
in the lake up north
one sunny afternoon when we thought
no one was looking,
and we’ve been caught more than once
sharing a cup of bitter coffee and overly sugared pie
at all night truck stops off the highway
along the hours of one am.
She brushed my hair the morning
of my grandfathers funeral.
She helped me stitch ripped skin and
scrub spots of teenage blood
from the carpet before I was old enough
to know better.
She sang with me in the passenger seat
on the drive from Bakersfield to Porterville
when the string of spotted horse
raced alongside us over the golden rolling hills.
She’s the one who threw
the jawbone of the dead rabbit
at my windshield.
She lets me lay beside her
and sings me to sleep
long after the boys are gone.
She knows how to hold me,
entwining my fingers,
gripping each other tight.
No, poetry didn’t save my life,
but I’ve watched her save others.
She pulls bodies from the snow,
throwing a line if they can’t reach her fingers,
and leaves them to sleep it off on my living room couch.
Just as I bring as many as I can gather
strapped tall atop the hood of car and
dragged through still burning field
to her door.
We are sisters,
we stand on opposite sides of the same bed
to balloon sheets and straighten comforter,
and late at night,
she whispers her stories in my ear
and I try my best to scrawl them onto page
before they slip back into the sheets.
We are intertwined,
blonde streaking brown more discreetly
than the white of time.
She resides nestled
under skin and bone,
tangled inside every vein of my forearm,
knotted into bent knees and calloused feet,
and I repay her kindness
by singing sweet incantations in the cadence
she taught me.
I pass her gospel door to door,
more diligent than any missionary,
and when she outlives me,
as all revered loves do,
she will miss her cockeyed collaborator
and sing soft at my funeral
when no one remains to listen.
She didn’t find me,
breath life back into me,
we’ve always been together,
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