Caroline Cabrera



And I am still getting used
to that word, “husband”

now our titles for each other
have such ceremony

they expect a level of humdrum
but we don’t fit them

aren’t old enough to wear them

with you gone
I can have the house

as clean or dirty as I like
I eat berries and wine

for dinner
your tank top fits me

like a nightgown
I paint my nails electric blue

and watch murder documentaries
when the trash piles up

I think “husband job!”
and I don’t care

I don’t care
I can live in my own waste

or I can take out the trash
but no one speaks either way

about it
the nail polish is really called

“butler please”
but I don’t get it

I think about the soft felony
of reading your mail

and worry about crashing
your car in the beach parking lot

I wear my own name
and think of you wearing yours

in Pewaukee, Wisconsin
which is the dumbest place ever


Anything worth draining
from my sinuses is so far
lodged it’s not my business.
Do you ever picture yourself
the man in the game Operation
with his big honking nose,
laid out on a table waiting
to get fixed? No? Me neither.
Just checking. The way I end
something is the way I remember
Chris Bachelder’s even keel,
which means often and fondly,
which means I get caught up
in the mechanism, learning how
I am the joke, learning how dead
animals are always part funny,
part a devastating reminder that
even the furriest get their due.
I have laid out on a table to have
pins put in me and I called that
relaxation. The thing
that got me through to spring.
When I remember myself
in relation to others I think
windward or leeward
but can’t bear to remember
which is even which, or where
I am, or who the others are.
I want to bob like the cutest
fat lure. As a kid, my favorite part
was the tackle box, the glossy, sparkly
worms. I was dumb as a fish.
CAROLINE CABRERA is the author of Flood Bloom (H-NGM-N BKS, 2013) and the chapbook Dear Sensitive Beard (dancing girl press, 2012). Her poems have most recently appeared in Bateau, Conduit, H_NGM_N, Noo Weekly and Phantom Limb. She lives in South Florida.

Read more by Caroline Cabrera:

Two poems in phantom limb
Two poems at H_NGM_N
Poem in Inter|rupture