the first day after you i wanted to hang
pictures of only myself. to cover the walls
i found myself in everyone: their twisted bodies,
joints angled as whitecapped waves.
the ways their hands worshipped what they touched.
when i looked at you it was like facing the dark
of the ocean. unfocused movement.
the first day i wanted to hang pictures
of only myself. tape flaking from wall like fish scales.
everything i loved left now in one place.
if you and i were still in love we might have had a child
who would have asked why she was named
after a jellyfish. i would have taught her
how to paralyze prey. i would have taught
her that word: paralysis: to be so filled with madness
that movement is impossible. i would have
taught her to reproduce asexually,
to divide and divide and divide and divide—
small cell, small blood clot, small madness.
i would have let her be free of organs
like brain and heart.
Sarah Lyons-Lin works as a braillist and loves the Midwest. Her work is forthcoming or has previously appeared in Rust+Moth, Storm Cellar, Cherry Tree, and Art House America. Her handmade chapbook lectio divina for reborn things was published in winter 2018.