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About this poet

Nicole Callihan is the author of Translucence, co-written with Samar Abdel Jaber (Indolent Books, 2018); Downtown (Finishing Line Press, 2017); The Deeply Flawed Human (Deadly Chaps, 2016); and SuperLoop (Sock Monkey Press, 2014). She teaches at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Burrow

My mother says the sound haunted her.
She thought an animal had crawled under her bed
and that it was hurt. Every night for a week,
the whimpering woke her. Mornings, she reached the long hand
of the broom underneath the dust ruffle but it came out clean.
The pillow where her head had rested was wet. So wet, she said.
As if I’d been crying all night long. But then it stopped.
The animal, wherever it was, had nursed itself well. Or died.
It would be years before we found anything resembling a body.

Copyright © 2018 Nicole Callihan. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Fall 2018.

Copyright © 2018 Nicole Callihan. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Fall 2018.

Nicole Callihan. Photo credit: Amanda Field.

Nicole Callihan

Nicole Callihan is author of Translucence, co-written with Samar Abdel Jaber (Indolent Books, 2018).

by this poet

poem

Our paper house sat
on the banks of the red river

and though mother
wasn’t like other mothers

I was like other girls
trapped and lonely

and painting pictures
in the stars. I was slick

with old birth or early longing,
already halfway between

who I wanted to be

poem

The name of this technique,
he said,
is afternoon.

Then pressed his mouth
to her collarbone,

pressed his mouth
’til evening
broke the window.

poem

that winter it was so cold
I had nowhere to go but inside

my heart was a clock on the kitchen wall
and I tacked up curtains to keep

anyone from looking in on my liver
up river  snow kept coming

and the aching thing ached still
husband it was yours for the taking

I clanged