Caitie L. Young (they/them) is a poet and writer from Kent, Ohio.


it’s like picking my nails to get the dirt out i can’t remember what itfeels like to press
my toes in Ohio mud; leaving is a forgiveness i can’t allow myself anymore or i may pull out my hair again
or ask to play with pins & needles & i’ll chew gum only to swallow it because i heard it stays
in you forever & what else does that except for nightmares, envy & memory? i keep hearing about being born again
& only Jesus can breathe into me a new life, but i’ve never suffocated in a lover’s arms as i have in church pews, so maybe there is no God
or God is gone or doesn’t care or never cared, & that is the thing about leaving where i used to love the taste of prayer,
leaving where i once buried my bones & hunted for beauty; it is the same song in mustard stains on white t-shirts
& in the kind of blood that stains your hands well after you’ve prayed andbeen forgiven—
come on, can’t i bless you with a memory of someone who loved being dead? whatelse stays with you forever?