Two Poems| by Sara Patterson

‘On the fabric of the human body’ in five images

In the middle of dissection
I find my body.
Steel pins are not the accessories
I asked for. Cut up, labeled.
Beetle caught beneath you,
bestow me a name.
Fluttering dry, I am paper.

Relics of an unwanted child
bending hips outward
demonstrate that
fossils in utero can be
a dissertation on the medical
capacity of a man to love.

My body collects colours,
turns them wrong.
Urination rusty fog.
Don’t worry, you text,
I don’t have anything. So when I
lost that condom, or took off that condom,
or never put that condom on–

Peeled skin portraits represent
mostly criminals or whores.
I kill a bed dwelling scorpion
as you say, no lo sabía. At the door
Johnny style, But I love you.
If so, why all the formaldehyde?

A romantic, you spend months
texting me catalogues of
every place you’ve seen me.



The problem with delayed gifts

A serpentine spine had Grandma.
Her ash in a vault in Florida,
a land known for its inability
to create thriving life.
I suck, nevertheless, the state. Its
dust for food. I am not mangrove.
I cannot live in brackish water.

That asteroid, isn’t it lucky?
Purging earth of the only
prehistorics we cared about.
Avian celebrities preening,
snorting CO-2 and sulfur as
Mom snorted cocaine and
cigarette smoke, hiding herself
in basement as those long-dead
preeners hid in geological strata.

Grandma’s Virginia train ticket,
breast pocket white blouse.
Mom’s Memphis plane ticket,
back pocket white jeans.
Sanitization is a hot and brutal act
oldening you, purple washing you.
Mom avoids white now, worn by
too many doctors and women
she doesn’t want to be anymore.

Mom said to my Aunt,
“You had such a different
relationship to our mother than me.”
“What relationship?”
Grandma a neurotic in state of wanting.
Throw her your love, your skin to wear.
When you give yourself up
you become sepulcher.
There is no tranquility
in poses of long dead
animals pulled from stone.

There is scar tissue left across
well-travelled state lines.
Grass stained blouse
Grandma was driving to the ocean.



Sara is a historian and writer. She has two short stories published in Lost in Thought, an online literary magazine. She also co-founded a literary zine, The Grimoire, which was dedicated to uplifting the voices of marginalized writers. Her twitter handle is: @Spatterson90