When You Find Me, Ragged, Remember



the fleas are no indication as to how

I look. Let the record show that I wore

lavender to ward off scorpions.

By scorpions, I mean men—

their mouth over my

mouth. I bite hard into

bud and let them repel off.


Let the record show that I speak

in a circular tongue. How can I not,

when to scream I must hollow

my throat and let the wind do its work?


You wanted me wild,

so here I am. The fleas

are no indication as to how

long I’ve been here. I washed

my feet in the river. That was enough.

I was proper

-ly armed: I sheathed wires

in my bra and formed tight

bear paws to punch a man’s

tooth loose.


You wanted me wild

so I chopped my hair

with rusted kitchen shears.

And you despised me.


So when you find me, ragged, remember

I wore lavender for you.



Carly Joy Miller's work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Adroit JournalBlackbirdBoston ReviewThird CoastVinyl Poetry, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for a Pushcart and was a finalist for the Stadler Fellowship. She is a contributing editor for Poetry International and a founding editor of Locked Horn Press. 


Next Poem

Back to Table of Contents