Sarah Bridgins

Sarah Bridgins’ work has appeared in Tin House, Buzzfeed, Bustle, Sink Review, Big Lucks, and The Fanzine among other journals. She is the cofounder of the Ditmas Lit reading series in Brooklyn.

 

Honest Mistake

 

I would have worn a mask

and fucked you

in front of a stranger,

but you got the date wrong

and we had to cancel.

 

You say you know disappointment

like the knots in your hand,

like the muscles in your stomach, like

the pictures of fish you draw at night

using a pen to bloat their bodies

grant them phosphorescent lights

to make way through alien darkness.

 

Well, I’m sorry.

I forgot to tell you about mistakes

and how you’re not allowed

to make them.

Only certain molecules

could survive all this.

 

 

 

The Other Katherine

 

When my mother died

my father asked if I thought

she should be buried

next to my sister.

 

My sister was named Katherine,

after my mother.

She died years before

I was born.

 

She was stillborn.

 

Or not.

 

She emerged blue bodied and gasping

like a fish washed ashore,

only to perish weeks later,

dried bean of a heart

giving out.

 

My family didn’t talk

about the details.

 

What I do know:

After Katherine died, my mother

tried to kill herself.

 

I don’t blame her

even knowing her success

would have come at my expense.

How can anyone be expected

to live through

their own death?

After all, those were her cells

that stopped dividing,

her veins turned to

ephemeral streams.

 

We buried my mother

in Pennsylvania where she died,

miles away

from my sister in Virginia.

There was no point

in keeping them together now,

both of them

so far below the earth

only bodies.

 

 

 

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