“Months Later,” by WITS Student Quinn Cook

Months Later

Let me tell you about the day my tongue broke down.
It melted into fine dust, iridescent particles of lies
and rabbit-quick explanations

I tried to get underneath where you used to be,
but it was a tangled mess of boot buckles and bolts
I sucked the lies from your marrow; they went down like
cough syrup

You were relentless, whipping me between tongue-in-cheek
and spitfire,
crinkled Neptune burned above
and the night clouds came in like hiccups

Months later,
I itch at invisible pox

They come and go, fluctuating
with the flickering lights I keep in my pocket
and the clarity of the mirror on my door

And all the mascara smudge in the world
can’t make your outline go away, your essence
tattooed beneath my fingernails, your fate
traced out in the briar patches of my brain
Make us a mosaic mind and we could be godly beautiful

Wash my hands, baptize me in consonance
When I put my box in your box, hold me,
let me in, when I am your quilted safety
I will spool your tears to weave them
through my ever-open fibers

Quinn Cook wrote this poem while a student at The Center School, with WITS Writer-in-Residence Matt Gano. She read it to open for Amber Tamblyn, who performed as part of SAL’s Women You Need to Know (WYNK) Series on February 10, 2016.

 

 

 

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