/caroline chavatel

This Fabulous Century II

This circus: in the Forepaugh,
bodies shuffle into
cooperation. Look

at the ribbon: how
it tresses her hair
as delicate as a greeting

card sent with raw
news. I’m tired of similes
for how the world

is so whole—would it be
too easy to say we
juggle the fruit of our

wombs like seeds
on the way
to plant? That we

are always missing
the cues for how
to act replete when

really we are filled
with hunger
tinted green?

This Fabulous Century III

In every cold sweat

is the heat

of a machine
beating its mechanical


your beast. It asks,
turn me on?

awakening you
from the dream

that is your own swelter,

your own half-off.

Caroline Chavatel is the author of White Noises (GreenTower Press, 2019), which won The Laurel Review’s 2018 Midwest Chapbook Contest. Her work has appeared in Sixth Finch, AGNI, Poetry Northwest, Gulf Coast, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner,and The Journal, among others. She is editor and co-founder of both Madhouse Press and The Shore and is currently a PhD student at Georgia State University.

Illustration by Aliya Smith.