In this version, I am never
open-ended in the basement
where you press against
my back. I am less pork fat
in the thigh, your body
a sober shot dripped into hunter
green. In this version,
I am still young and pink-cheeked,
the ruins of two pillars erect
and alabaster smooth, untouched.
I have never slipped into canyon
slopes, shattered my heart
so no one could carry it all.
You have never cut your teeth
on a glass rim, my chest caught
in the vice of your incisors, and I
have never had to break the jaw.
Lets leave it there then, this
attempt to do it over. Where I see
you in the street and overhead
the warning sound of nothing in the sky.
Christen Noel Kauffman currently lives in Richmond, IN with her husband and two daughters, and holds a MFA from Northern Michigan University. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in Willow Springs, Booth, The Cincinnati Review, DIAGRAM, and The Normal School, among others.