The Outsider

The Outsider 1328 889 Kristin LaFollette

is the woman with no children—

I’m not tall enough to see what everyone carries,
the broomsticks they hold behind their

backs.

My feet—

They haven’t taken me as far away as
I need to go, my skin and nerves
unsettled by all

this humid
air.

I crave water in the mornings and
can feel the coldness as it’s pulled
downward, can hear it as it washes
away

old blood.

I came from a family that allowed me to pray one

Thanksgiving when I was nine. Just as I have

nine lives,

when I squint my eyes, I can see the
sun through the tree limbs as a kind of

swollen eye,

bold and forgotten, but only
because it’s always been there.

Header photograph © Lesley-Anne Evans.

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