‘the bleak December’


Ah, distinctly, I rememeber



I’ve a friend who describes this time of year as liminal.

We’re both the superstitious sort, but there’s truth to the matter. There is something spooky about the winter, the last month of the year (in the Gregorian calendar, at least). The cold is coming and things are ending, and they won’t begin again for some time.

(Etymological side note: liminal comes from līmen, Latin for ‘threshold’; next month is January, which comes from Ianuarius—the month of Janus, a Roman god: the gatekeeper.)


It’s cold here, where we are, and it snowed over the weekend. We are almost over our heads in final papers (my humanities cohorts and I) and exams (my aforementioned friend, a STEM major…oxymoronic, huh?) but we are OK.

The cold and the dark do affect me, but I’ve pulled through for the past twenty winters and I’ll do so again. 2017 has been a bad year for so many people, for so many reasons (but also a good year! for the silence-breakers!) but we have pulled through. And anyway,

perfer et obdura, dolor hic tibi proderit olim

(Ovid, Metamorphoses)


love, Carey


For L.

sad stuff

we’re always gonna miss you


sad stuff


And I am sitting here eating oatmeal with plain thick yogurt,

but my throat is closing


when I breathe

but you won’t breathe anymore,

you are in your lonely nest

below the earth

and I am running on the earth

and you are resting in the earth

dandelion, that’s me


that was you

and I am so sorry

so so


and I prayed that night

and I crossed myself,

Rosary on the doorknob

and the night prior,

I had that awful shattered feeling

while at church,

though the basilica gleamed

with prayers and devotion

and summer Sunday expectations

(no obligations this time)

and I rode my bike home,


but you were already up there,

literally, and now


and I am so sorry

this world couldn’t hold you

and I am gulping and convulsing,

but not in an angelic way,

I will never be Bernadette,

you will never be

were you Anglican?

I don’t know

will not know

if you asked for the saints’


I don’t want it to be too late,

and I talk to you,

through the internet

through my mind,

through Mary,

and I called Father O’Malley for you,

and he said you’re safe now,

and my eyes are squelching now

and I miss you.

I won’t tell them what happened

I want you to know:

I’ve kept all your letters,

but I didn’t bring the box

because that is between you

and I

and my arrival will not be yours,


and I miss you.

Now there are not so many of us,

they say she lost, too.

But we are fighters,

and we are warriors,

and we are scouts,

and we will conquer

(Flo or Jul, I don’t know)

and the summer didn’t scatter

my clocks

(which is the name

for the puff seeds

|sounds lowfalutin|


again, the internet)

and I am still pulsing,



my heart is beating,

and you,

my lovely,


my dear my darling

(Flo this time)

you left.

The perch,

the nest,

all the rest

of us.


No time for insecurities)

I am on campus,

this side of the Atlantic,

and I will work at a library


I will go

beyond the stop sign

I will fight

I will cry,

because I am not always strong

but I will try

and we miss you

and He might have a different perspective

and I’ll never know

if you liked the zine…

last line of the poem,

“The girls were eating”.

So late,

so tired.

Not of you,




As Far As You Could Get

was not as far as we’d hoped.

What could we have done?

How could we have helped you?

Do I fight?

Do I stop?

I don’t think you stopped.

I think you gave in,

Never Let Me Go

there is a difference,

and on that night

a manic ride,

to the mountain,

to the fields,

to the mortuary chapel

and I sat on the ground in front

of the Crucifixion


and there were Rosaries

in the Marys’


and I did cry,

and I cried for you,

because I love you like a sister

and I did not say it,

wasn’t fast enough to catch you

and your mind was broken,

and maybe your heart,


like mine,

but I don’t know,

I have this guilt

What if I did give up?

Not give in,

you gave in,

but the guilt says,

think of


think of


think of

Revol Koob

think of R.

think of Mary

the Mother,

and my cousins,


Think of CBV think of MJA

think of AT and CMD

and DM.

If I gave up

you’d not see me,

I know it’s wrong

and you were not in a good way

and you’re excused

and I am hard on myself,

very hard,

and I am running until I collapse


not physically anymore,

and I hate myself.,

and I hate that I am weak,

but I will fight,

I will keep going,

and right now I am going to

brush my teeth

and cleanse

and go to bed.

I have another day coming,

a bright errand-y day,

and you will, too.

I believe in God,

the Father Almighty,

but I believe in Mary,

Mother of God,

and I think maybe there is

a woman on God’s side,

not a Goddess,

but an equal,

of a different


And I think you and she are having those sessions

they claimed to give us,

(take from us)

but with the sprawling carpets and warm herbal teas

that Camp so lacked.

I love you Laura,

and I wish you were here.

I made it a year,

and the summer

took you from us.

How far can I go?

How far can I get?

I am going to save the oatmeal for tomorrow.

But I will conquer.