In the chemical light of afternoon,
our bodies curl over phones,
sprawl slightly toward windows,
holding empty forms,
as if it’s test day.
Once we were boys and girls.
A faded poster says we’ve shed
a thousand skins since then.
Outside in the street,
a road crew mends its yellow line,
drilling up the pitted asphalt like a long,
thin biopsy, one that refuses
to stop for summer,
or to tell us anything.
Driving over today, I spoke to my ex;
he recited my history,
reminded me of the old score.
But I don’t know he says
you may not be the same person.
In the exam room, I’m spread
to the four directions,
they survey my shell.
Brothers and sisters, I see you
looking out from inside your casings.
Can you say what I am now?
In the parking lot,
a woman standing beside her busted car,
watching your looking-glass door,
tears in the seams of her face.
They will soak the pavement,
wet blotches spreading.

Kristin Fogdall

Kristin Fogdall was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, the descendent of early Oregon pioneers. Her work has appeared in The New Republic, Poetry, New England Review, and other venues. She has been named a Poetry Fellow by the New Hampshire Arts Council, and she received both the Thoreau Fellowship and the ALSCW/VSC Fellowship with the Vermont Studio Center. She is at work on a full length collection and lives with her family in Morrisville, Vermont.

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