Elegy Stitched Together
by Caitlyn Curran

It’s just that idea like you’ve lost your keys
for good and no spare, but no really you’ve lost
your car or you’ve forgotten where you live,
the street and color of joy. Is your hair falling out? It is now
in strands like ridiculous eels at the surface of the brown river.
Slitting up and back down with their slender tailbodies, rinsing down
the drain. Remember I would straighten out your black hair
with my fingers—it was always on end and nothing like mine.
It just wouldn’t sit. It’s just that you sat in the truck,
but I remember you underneath with the tire on your back
as I tried to find a seam to unhook.
There were no stitches, no hooks, the tire was yours.
A tire seems necessary like employment or a trustworthy dentist
but it will burn and spin and land like split open
fireworks unable to stop exploding in a young hand.
It’s just that there is more than one fuse. The hand is gone
but someone picks it back up in the gravel.
The show explodes back into the dark sky.
It’s just that I saw your blood underneath
my fingernails and I kept it there for weeks.
I never wanted it to wash away like common dirt.
After each shower I would check and make sure
it was still there and it was, believe me it still is
and now I try to bite it away with loose-teeth dreams
in the mirror they are falling to dust and shaking
like unstable bricks like a dog her jaw shifted from the car
that hit her, her last face a growl her shining long bite-me teeth
​dry and misplaced but the blood stays there I keep biting

until I bleed and it is still your blood isn’t it?