Sometimes I call you my sister

Kristin LaFollette

and other times
                                       I call you the girl with many names

In the early moments,
                  I felt as if I could still touch you
                  even as that which had already touched the insides

of your eyes became more visible to the rest of us
First there was the stitching
                                                                                          (a spider consuming an insect)
                                                                        then the black patch—
                    Was it your right eye?

With the center of your eye opened up, I felt as
if I could reach in and pull it out,                                 the flattened mass
                                    of iron and thread that made your
                                                      mouth like that of
a deer,
quiet and consuming
                                                                        the flowerless plants and dew of
                                    not belonging to her

I hoped for 10 years because I read about
                     people who made it that long                (one person 23 years),
enough time for me to marry and know the
                                                                                             adult version of you
You were there for the marriage, but
                  four years later,

I wasn’t there when it happened—
Would you have heard me whispering
                                                         through the water and cool season grass?

                                    Would you have felt me in the end, willing
                  you to be bodied, lifting you up out of your
                                                                                             own faulty limbs and veins?

Kristin LaFollette (she/her) is a writer, artist, and photographer and is the author of the chapbook, Body Parts (GFT Press, 2018). She is a professor at the University of Southern Indiana and serves as the Art Editor at Mud Season Review. You can visit her on Twitter at @k_lafollette03 or on her website at

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