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WORM by Robin Gow




i have as many hearts


as you want me to have.


cut off my hand & it becomes


it's own private love poem.


row houses that caught fire


on that night in march


when the soil was coughing up sunglasses.


i thought we would put forevers


in the oven like pretzels. i thought i would


turn into a pile of socks with you.


when i was a young girl


we used to play a playground game


called "worm graveyard"


going out the day after a rain


to harvest the dead worms


& burry them. hearts like kickballs


one drying after the other


in the bruise-laden sun.


everything is too brief but


especially worms. we made headstones


from leaves. said elegies.


one worm who loved video games


& another who wanted to be


a skydiver. our dreams are like this.


little hymns in the ice age.


i'm telling you though


i can find another & another heart


if you will just keep me


as i want to be remembered.


a shovel in a bucket of marshmallow.


the radio gargling with salt water.


to be a worm is to cut in half


& decide which side to say farewell to.


or to always live with two bowl


of chips on your lap. i sometimes want


to call you again. i want to tell you


about the worms in the parking lot


& the worm graveyards &


the worm life i am living.


there are days when i think with


all of my hearts & days where


i let a child come & cut off my head.


tell me, have you lived like this too?


how would you say farewell


to the worms? what would you use


as a headstone? i imagine


cutting off my fingers. planting each


in the damp earth. kneeling until


they come alive not as children


but released selves that no longer


need me to dream of cream.



ABOUT:


Robin Gow is a trans poet and witch from rural Pennsylvania. It is the author of several poetry books, an essay collection, YA, and Middle-Grade novels in verse, including Dear Mothman and A Million Quiet Revolutions. Gow's poetry has recently been published in POETRY, Southampton Review, and New Delta Review. Fae lives in Allentown Pennsylvania with their queer family.


EDITOR'S SONG PAIRING: Slow Pulp — Worm













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