BY REBECCA SCHWAB CUTHBERT
I bore the scar like an ant,
lighter than its cargo on hard-wire legs.
The mark’s heft and drag
curved my spine into a C that stood for Caisson and kneaded a sweet ache into my shoulder blades.
(I feel it still, calling your name)
I often wonder, had you lived, would you like me? I don’t know if I’m the person I am because
(catch, rip, tingle)
For years, I worried the scar’s edges with sharp canines to hold off healing. Now it shines like a just-waxed Chevy
and winks in the sun.
It tastes metallic (lick to keep moist; flash to get into clubs).
Your wedding dress is in the attic. Squirrels have made nests in it, pissed, slept, raised
their young in the yellowed lace.
But my ribs expanded to encase this vast hollow,
my extra inch (you were buried in heels—white—before Labor Day) and
anemic breasts that never filled in—
it wouldn’t have fit, I know.
Do you remember walking to church that spring? Everything melting, skipping
cracks in the sidewalk.
You died, but it wasn’t yet autumn.
Rebecca (Schwab) Cuthbert is a writer and animal shelter volunteer living in Western New York. Her work has been published in Brevity, Slipstream, Treehouse Magazine, and elsewhere.