Caylin Capra Thomas

I Am Not a Dream

                                    Yvonne George, 1896-1930


I ring like a clock, out, out & in

bellows, out, I sing, & Robert writes

poems about me.  I cough & speckle

the stage with bright little blood stars

& Robert calls me l’étoile.

He goes to sleep in the back room

to dream my teeth into charming objects.



Breton’s Nadja died in a sanitarium.

(She was not Breton’s.)

I will die in a hotel. Walls

are walls, cheri.  We are strange

birds in a cage on fire. Who will remember

us beyond those we ignite?



In the night, there are my lungs

bloodied by millions & millions

of breaths. There is the dark drapery

of opium.  Ribbons of song.  My teeth

are flowers made of glass.



Robert can’t see how a woman can be more

than a muse, more than a velvet silhouette to prick

with diamonds. 



In the night, there is me,

& in the day as well, & all the porcelain hours

between, but he only knows the between

of worlds.  More than real, they call it,

& he their prophet, but my songs don’t arrive

in sleep.  They fly out—

out from me, jittery & electric, & the world

passes, & I keep my eyes



       Inland Empire Gothic | Rick Cummings

                  Inland Empire Gothic | Rick Cummings

The Wildings



The town was covered in houses like a body of scaling bandages,

gluey and obscene.


            We set ours on a hill. 


Spread the beds with chenille, avoided the rustling

of neighbors.  We painted our eyelashes

shut.  Still,


the townspeople wagged their tongues, steepling

them towards that apron of blue light,

not heaven,


an abattoir of unanswerables:


            I don’t believe we’ve met.


and we buttered ourselves against each other, the “good fat,”

the bad apples, we sliced into them,


rife with worms, we didn’t care,

we grew guttural 


and older.  We escaped cultivation.  We flannelled

our necks, necked, let our hair grow


wilding, spotted ourselves

in ourselves less and less frequently.


Some days we stepped from the ether of each other into the skinned mink

of others, their boudoirs lamp-lit and gauzy with moving shadow.


We loved them, somehow.  We returned to each other new.



CAYLIN CAPRA-THOMAS is the author of a chapbook, The Marilyn Letters (dancing girl press 2013) and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as Bat City Review, Sixth Finch, Phoebe, alice blue review, The Boiler, and Tinderbox. She lives in Missoula, Montana, where she's pursuing an MFA and serving as a poetry editor for CutBank.