I tell my father I’m sick and he tells me a story of someone he knows who lost the ability to swallow for three months. Horrible, I say. But a good diet, I think. That night I have a dream my skin is translucent. That everyone can see my swollen, rotting organs from the outside. In the dream, I scramble to find clothes to cover the exposure, fail and end up playing with my intestines like awater-weenie. This is a metaphor, even though I don’t want it to be. My best friend calls to tell me I’m not alone, in Ann Arbor there’s a Blackpoll Warbler with a gut window. She says, they caught him on the way to the Boreal Forest, use them for research. Tells me she went to visit him, to stare at the insides of a bird. Wants me to know how clean and clear the section taken out of his abdomen is. Like a portal.
Kate Sweeney has poems in Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art, SWWIMM Everyday, The Shore Poetry & other places. She has poems forthcoming from LunchTicket, Variant Lit, & Moria Magazine and Her first chapbook, The Oranges Will Still Grow Without Us, from Ethel in 2022. Kate is Marketing Director for The Adroit Journal.