by Carrie Greenlaw

A long time ago
things used to turn off.

Sleep drifted in great swaths
that blotted out the stars,
upending Gutenberg’s press,
the cotton gin, splintering looms

and memory used the dark
to tend its garden.
We spun oblivion into silks;
forgetfulness, a saint’s medallion
forged of pilgrimage through pain.

These forests have been razed.
The world undulates and feels unwise.
Deglove means skin turned inside out.

Our hands shed uncontrollably
and out of sight.

Metaphors lead to motherhood.
In each orphanage,
urgency weeps from a dark grid of cradles.

Foul milk or no milk—
which mouth
can tell the difference?

Carrie Greenlaw is a poet and artist residing on the North Side of Pittsburgh. Her work has been featured in Masque & Spectacle, River & South Review, Inscape, and other publications. Her debut chapbook, Dark Garnet, is forthcoming by L&S Press in January 2020. She believes in living low and living slow. More at