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Cavern of Want

by Katey Linskey

I fear these words will shape my mouth into a cave.

I can’t bring myself to say Choose me so instead I ask:

What’s the saddest book you’ve ever read?

What I really mean is: will you read A Fine Balance
next to me in bed? You say:

No one is listening in this indifferent universe.

O indifferent constellation, won’t you align for me?

I don’t want to marvel at another apathetic comet
exploding in the distance.


I know you’re right, by the way.

Still, I look for favorable signs. I buy scratch tickets
on bad days, listen to meditations on acceptance.

Anxiety is really about control—the ways we try
to maintain it, how we deny reality with our grasping.


Which was a long way to make
the same point as Lisa Loeb. I’m afraid

I only hear what I want to.

If I ask for too much I’ll fall down
the cave in my throat. If I ask for too little, I’ll be carved

hollow. My knuckles swell with sickening want,


white hot. All grip—

Katey Linskey is a writer with poetry out and forthcoming in The West Review, Rise Up Review, Vagabond City Lit and elsewhere. She draws from her experiences growing up in Boston and later living in India and Guatemala. She spent six years working in public health which continues to inform her work as a writer. She can be found on twitter at: katey_linskey.

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