Carrie Causey

from Ear to the Wall

In New Orleans

The way
from bloodmeal,
a tree grows
from the corpse,
more conscious of the air
around its limbs
and the light,
the way
we would not call the dead,
not living.
Nor do I say,
the dead are alive
when we pass a cemetery.
We say nothing.
I am in the truck
with my father.
It is a natural silence, I think,
the kind
among blood.

We Want a Farm

We would like to grow herbs, cooking herbs and chamomile and lavender, and keep birds, farm fish, collect dogs and cats and horses. There isn’t enough room in the apartment. We need a plant to cover the litter boxes in the bathroom. There is an unfinished birdcage you built in the bedroom and now you’ve started an aquarium for snails, the snails that have destroyed the pink water plant that we kept, that once flourished like a ribbon in the tank with the Leopard fish and the Neons. You have to put this one on the floor. Sitting there, legs crossed like a boy. The cats we brought with us when we moved sit next to you, watching as you drop each snail into the water and the free line each takes apart from the other. As they settle into the gravel, I am watching from the bed—the small longing trailing in you—what smallness, what container, makes us dream of farms. The dream of the farm, for us, is creation, the saving (palm opening as if releasing a small animal, the hand held up toward the sky would be the gesture) for us, it is the escape of a god out of its own ruin— to the new ground, the land worshipped by animals, bordered by fog. It is a dream. When we talk about it, I love you; you are a good man, I am a good woman.


Tonight I looked for you
in the woods behind our house
but I didn’t find you anywhere
and the woods were full—
It was horrible
to stand in the middle of woods
and not fly and not disappear.

Carrie Causey’s Ear to the Wall is forthcoming from Ampersand Books.

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