Show Me How to Trace This

by    /  November 25, 2020  / Comments Off on Show Me How to Trace This

by Kara Knickerbocker

& if you had a map out of your body, where would it go?
What is the point of exit you’d choose to leave yourself?

I’d choose the wounds already claimed:
the fried egg-shaped scar burned above my left knee,
my crooked pointer finger like an almost question mark,
or better yet straight from the new titanium heart—
where a stranger sleeps at the wheel, keeping time.

That slicing open drove me into questions I still can’t answer,
like where is the intersection of my own skin & all that hides
underneath? How to steer away from the bump in the road
that lives in my chest, unmake detours into strange tomorrows.

Pulse lines are wires that got crossed along the way & now
I need a key to a home I’ve already lost.

These blue veins were never routes that would carry me there.

All the rivers I’ve known are muddied,
emptying into the mouth of someone else.

Kara Knickerbocker is the author of the chapbooks The Shedding before the Swell (dancing girl press) and Next to Everything that is Breakable (Finishing Line Press). Knickerbocker currently lives in Pittsburgh, where she works at Carnegie Mellon University, co-curates the MadFridays Reading Series, and is a proud member of the Madwomen in the Attic at Carlow University. Find more of her at

City of Asylum believes that All Pittsburghers are Poets. With the Poem of the Week series, we seek to increase the readership and appreciation of poetry locally by publishing poems written by residents of Allegheny County of all ages and levels of experience. In partnership with the Poetry Editors at Sampsonia Way Magazine, City of Asylum advances our mission to defend, celebrate, and build on creative freedom of expression. This project received a RADical ImPAct Grant from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD).

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