Inside Every Poem You Can Hear Muffled Screams

Inside Every Poem You Can Hear Muffled Screams


I like to eat my shadow. I like

to stick my hand out the window and choke

the first bird that flies by until it turns flimsy

in my fist, melts dead to the ground. I like birds.

I steal my ancestors’ ghosts from clotheslines

and wave them as if they’re sudden flags. I don’t

remember why. I invent yet another universe where I am hunted

to great applause. I stand in a mirror to feel both my mouths

fail. Someone else dies and it must be

a poem. Maybe with blood. Maybe screams. Maybe

a mother and child at a dining table, and the child

is wailing, but you never see their hands. Never

their faces. I like to stand outside my body

and watch her hair burn. Then her chest. Then

her lips. I like to watch the audience’s mouths split open

to reveal howls. I wonder if the dead know

we are writing about them. I wonder if the missing girl

wanted to be a symbol. I worry that to be a poet is to sit and wait

for beautiful things to die. To exploit distance. To steal

their flight. To wring murder into myth, to retell it--

Gaia Rajan lives in Andover, MA. She's the Managing Editor of The Courant. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Rust+Moth, Hobart, Kissing Dynamite, Glass Poetry, Mineral Lit, and elsewhere. She hopes you have a wonderful day.

566 views1 comment


  • Instagram
  • Twitter