At Christmas, I unwrap a framed sketch
of a cat in a stroller. Later, I chop a yellow onion
and want to get pregnant. But ferns curling
awake in March have no face to hold.
I move the bed where I sleep to the yard.
This can be fixed, I say. This simple math problem.
I say it over the fences, so all the neighbors hear.
When it snows, parents drive to collect their children.
Fathers somewhere chop wood, pour dry pintos
into the stock pot for the power outage.
I rush home in the 10 am wild and release
my breasts into a robe. I open the piano
and play Clementi badly.
The duplex neighbor thinks he’s set up the plastic router
for our wireless, but when he slams the screen door,
the TVs and phones are heavy idiots.
I stare at the bookshelf, fill the bathtub.
There is Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead,
a cat shitting in the nearby box. I cling to fat.
I let the world get deleted. The neighbor knocks
and knocks. I’m unavailable wearing water.
When I was twenty, I drove two Swedish girls
from LA to the Grand Canyon. I’d never even seen
a picture. We stopped the rental car at sunset
and walked to the south rim to look. It felt fine
to dangle my legs in it. Forget tall mountain, God as up.
I had no idea I could’ve ridden a mule all the way down.
Corrie Lynn White’s full-length collection Gold Hill Family Audio won the 2021 Cowles Poetry Book Prize and will be published by Southeast Missouri State University Press in Fall 2022. Her poems and essays have appeared in Oxford American, Best New Poets, New Ohio Review, Chattahoochee Review and Mid American Review, among other places. White holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UNC Greensboro and currently works as a journalist in Chattanooga, Tennessee.