May 2018 Poetry Feature: Caleigh Adams

May 2018 Poetry Feature: Caleigh Adams

Tremble On

I’m peeking down the rabbit hole

For the Sun burns too confidently,

But the scent of dirt possesses a familiar appeal

And consuming new depths.


Dare I travel

Closer to the Earth’s core,

Where sickly beings are incinerated?

Their corpses make the soil acidic.


The Sun, I suppose, will bronze my skin,

Glaze over my scars

And fill me with light that will

Cure me of impurities.


But this Rabbit Hole offers vices,

In the form of toxic elixirs and gluttony,

It fills my pores with compulsions to purge

And punish and extract.


This hole allows me to spiral,

To experience what it means

To lose control,

Which is hard to refuse when

I can’t reign the small garden

Of a kingdom

That I tend to, above ground.


I’m afraid the Sun might blister my skin.

It could burn me if I take flight,

My body in flame as I prepare

To impact Earth’s shell.


Why would it harm me?


Maybe I ought to collect the minerals

I found as I climbed from the Rabbit Trap

All these years ago

And wear them proudly

Around my neck

And entwined in my hair.


I will decorate my face with

Brilliant oracles,

Paint my lips with their pigment,

Smear my bruises

Until they turn reflective;

Proof that I once dug my nails too deeply,

But found that I had struck gold.


I will fight against the cool pull of the trap

And perch myself underneath a willow

I will step bravely into the sunlight.

There, I will tremble on, glowing

The minerals refract my fear of sunbeams.

I am the softest person alive.




When her accomplishments are measured

by the depths of her wounds

There is no such thing as success

Because those tender valleys

have to regrow twice over to form hills.


Today, I wish she had heard

The woman’s voice who planted baby’s breath in her curls,

Sighed a love song and sang her daughter’s name,

Then, her longing for maternal love would have felt some relief.


Maybe I’m wrong, maybe she’s wrong for believing a deficit exists.


“This is the most hopeful I’ve felt in a long time,”

She told me over the phone.

“That’s no relief,”

Because I had to wonder what the distance was,

In inches,

Between her ribcage and the

Tip of the knife in her hand.


We listened to each other gasp for clear air.

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