Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cara Schiff - Two Poems

Scene with a Forgotten Woman

Stilts hold up the deck
under the cabin’s high roof.
Trees texture the mountains
in a thousand tiny bumps.

On the deck, a wide-hipped
woman sits on a red barber
chair. She lifts a cigarette--
moving at the speed of
labored thoughts.

Inside, a dish of buttons
sits on a chest of drawers.
A framed witch hangs
above the kitchen sink.
A pan on the crusted
counter holds old bacon.
A girl on the beach hangs
in a photo on the fridge.

Outside, a kidney-shaped ashtray
sits on a weathered stool.
A dusty cat stands
on the woman’s lap,
purring as his paws push into her.

Smoking Through Wyoming

With each puff,
the force of my lungs
pulls the car over
sludgy asphalt.

I crave the light
between my fingers
and that morning feeling--
oiling my lungs with poison.

Each cigarette flies
out the window,
meets countless others,
marks 7 minutes
further from home.

After 140 minutes,
my stomach seizes
on the inhale.
A stranger’s skin coats
the inside of my cheeks
and my gas station soda
washes it away.

On the roadside,
snow’s yellow grass
hairs shift--unaware
of me, my car,
and my cigarette.

Cara Schiff was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Currently, she is a student in the undergraduate writing program at Metropolitan State University in Denver. Most recently, she was published in the online magazine, amphibi.us. She is the 2011 recipient of the Candy Lee Osgood Scholarship for Creative Writing.

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