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.
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