About the Feature

Image by Isengardt

Listen to our podcast of this poem here.


I told myself, I want this, until I wanted it. And sometimes
my back lined up to the wall, and the wall loved me. In his chair

I toweled my hair, speaking quietly until I shouted
to see his eyes turn on. My fault lay between the lethargy

of habit, between the key in the lock and my hands in the bag.
Those storyless days with their smooth hours. In the way a person

becomes paper, I folded myself into an ear. No more last
names. No more nights out. And if I did this for myself, had I

wanted a nest built, like all nests, with my mouth and my teeth,
can I blame myself for it? Why would I then destroy what a man

was already so eager to take? I want this, I said to the mirror.
I ignored the ringing phone. My intact heart. I said it louder.

About the Author

Brittany Cavallaro is the author of Girl-King (University of Akron Press, 2015). Her poems have appeared in Agni, Gettysburg Review, Tin House, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Wisconsin.