Shoulders

Poem and photograph by Kaitlyn Lafferty

it was forever ago my mother first held me close, wrapping me in

you carry the world on your shoulders

it was on your mattress, bare i exclaimed hushed in vulnerability

don’t look at my shoulders

it was in orchestra my teacher straightened me out

open your chest, shoulders out

it was late september a broken stored in me flooded

you’re shrinking again, i can see it in your shoulders

it was a full moon in my chest when the words poured out of yours

is my name also written in-between your shoulder blades

i was open and dragging my spine

when you asked

what parts of me i recognized as purely mine

my mind tumbled

around fingertips

scars and birthmarks

but

it was dimples on my shoulders

i was worried about them when you were little

written in maps on my body

your skin is just stitched to your bones

images of sunburnt

please be back before 3

of dragging

she’ll have to stay in the hospital longer

of folding

you’ve never loved me the way i do you

of climbing

let’s lay here and watch the light curl through swaying leaves

of reveling

    I wish I could stay in your arms forever

of resting

    please stay with me tonight

years of carrying

i thought of you, swollen faced, and i flushed the pills

a frame fragile

you love so fully, so wholly- so deeply

delicately stitched

i see so much pain in your bones

connecting parts

our family just needs to learn to be whole again

bare and whole

you were born with so much love to give

hinges for crawling in

    please don’t push me away again

and seams

    i’ll carry it with you

holding me together

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Kaitlyn Lafferty

Kaitlyn Lafferty is a gallery host at the Denver Art Museum in Denver, CO. She writes and sells a really personal perzine called perpetual ambivalence about her misadventures and wonderment with all things life. Right now, she attends community college of Denver, working towards becoming a geologist. Outside of work and school, she is an artivist and organizer with a focus on energy justice and reclaiming emotions. She is passionate about nature, art and all the small beauties of living. If she could be any color at this point in her life, it would be a delicate shade of pastel salmon. Keep up with Kaitlyn on Facebook & Etsy.

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