"Upon Waking in Five Center"
Oh sweet girl, what I wouldn’t give
to spread out my madness
like a map before you, to take
your small hand and guide it down
the divergent paths of blackness
and light. Sweet girl, they spread
across the page of me, contained
only by the borders of this world and
the loamy depths of the next. Do you see
the snaking hills and valleys, like a river,
like a heartbeat? This is our bloodline,
sweet girl. These are the veins
and arteries drawn upon us, etched
into our brains in cords and synapses; lines
of our collective family palm. Each
contour contains a history; mauve-lined
walls and wonderland pills
that so quickly lose their luster.
My sweet girl, I would let
myself to bleed a thousand seas
if just to fold the record
of me into a paper boat
to sail you off the course heading
towards such unrelenting shores.
Elisa Karbin is currently an MA student at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she is studying creative writing and is an associate editor of Cream City Review. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Miranda Literary Magazine, Barnwood Press, Right Hand Pointing, and The Lily Lit Review, amongst others. She is thrilled to be included in this issue of Breath and Shadow.