What Can Be Controlled


it so happens I am sick of that / way of being: denying my unstrength

Poetry by Casey Clague

I pluck butterflies where I find them
in darkened gardens, 

silver-pin them to my gut & chest, 
in my ribs’ thin ditches. 

Body of aloneness & holes, 
what’s one or forty more? 

Men insist that this 
is not a man’s stomach—

it so happens I am sick of that
way of being: denying my unstrength,

that body is the antonym of life,
blood coppered on my lips.  

I want my body as a backdrop 
for the dead, not its vanguard. 

Wings become the stained glass 
daylight passes through. 

A kaleidoscope that stops 
shifting for anyone.  

Casey Clague holds an MFA from the University of South Florida. They live in Tampa where they co-founded the Read Herring reading series and serve as Assistant Poetry Editor for Sweet: A Literary Confection. Creative and critical work appears or is forthcoming in Flock, PermafrostGravelNew Writing, and Action, Spectacle. Find them on Instagram @_indoorfireworks.

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