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Two Poems by Sarah Carson | Word Riot

January 15, 2014      

Two Poems by Sarah Carson

If You See an Old Boy in a Raincoat

Listen to a reading of “If You See an Old Boy in a Raincoat” by Sarah Carson.

In a sweatshirt that says “I haven’t been there yet,” know there’s no need to ask him questions about where it is he hasn’t been because he’s not much good at conversation, like he’s not much good at sitting still or counting quarters or washing windows or saying, “Let’s get out of here.” But still let’s just say, for the sake of conversation, that it’s midday and you are somewhere sunny on a sidewalk, and you have stopped to look at a display of brand new lawnchairs in a window, and out of the corner of your eye, you catch his skulky, sulky reflection, the way he barely takes his hands from his pockets to grip doors by the handle or to eat giant handfuls from cans of mixed nuts, tell him that the Bears deserved to lose to the Lions like the Confederacy deserved to lose to the Union, that Jay Cutler is an asshole and that Chicago is not a city for little girls like Detroit is not a city for little boys. Tell him there is no Michigan but the real Michigan, one state unified under fall trees and shallow rivers. Tell him he needs to brush his teeth more regularly and that he needs to phone home more often. Tell him that I’ve loved him since the day he disappeared.

This Morning the World Is Made of Stars

Listen to a reading of “This Morning the World Is Made of Stars” by Sarah Carson.

Stars so close they singe the bark off the highest branches, and the shadow across the moon–my shadow–is so long and straight that other planets are calling asking me to move. I won’t move, I tell the chief executive officer of the interplanetary council. Not now. Not after what I’ve been through. I tell him he can tell them to come and get me if they want me. Tell them they can find me here on this slab of concrete beneath the lilac tree from where I watch the dog leap over the twine the gardener has pulled taut around his vegetable patch even though year after year not a single cucumber has appeared. Tell them I’ll be right here, right here long after any discernable trace of morning. It was they who found us first, after all. It was they who left us all alone out here. It was they who decided who should live and who should be set free.

Screen shot 2014-01-15 at 10.40.26 PMAbout the author:

Sarah Carson was born and raised in Michigan but now lives in Chicago with her dog, Amos. She is also the author of three chapbooks, Before Onstar (Etched Press, 2010), Twenty-Two (Finishing Line Press, 2011), and When You Leave (H_NGM_N, 2012). Sometimes she blogs at

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