After A fourteen-line poem on sex by Julie Carr

By night, I am star-dripped paralysis:

a disrupted circadian rhythm.

There’s only cracked nightlights,

so I voicelessly withdraw, a variable isolated.

I can count the hours to dawn, watch

blinds with frayed cords hug the windowsill.

I evade theaters soaked in shade.

Bound by morning countdown, the hollowed

glass bulbs. Always stuck between the light switch

and barbed wire. I’m confined by constant cycles.

I wince before the whine of a weathered house.

I burn these worries on to moonbranded lips.


She screamed for the paramedics to let her die,

begging peaked blood pressure

to plunge her into inky abyss.

IV clawed out, lifesavers repelled

Her last sight: shattered

diamonds on blacktop road.

We used to bond over breaking

bedtime, stationed between torn

leather couches, praising the twist

of bottle caps, the quenching of her

earthquake fists. She found

comfort in the velvet shade,

unbridled tv volume hiding missing

lemonade stand money and taxi arrivals.

I lose games of hide and seek

to bottles tucked in the stomach

of the sink, the plastic of your purple car.

She lives in smoke choked excess

between this marriage of slammed cabinets.

Pledged to sobriety’s sedation,

she is snapped back with an electric kiss.

Stephanie Karas is a junior at Lewis University studying Creative Writing and Psychology. She works as the Assistant Managing Editor for Jet Fuel Review. Her work is has appeared or is forthcoming in The American Library of Poetry, Creative Communications,  30 N, and Quirk. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, studying, annoying her boyfriend or caring for her rotund Pacman frog, Meatball. For more of Stephanie’s work, visit her facebook page and Instagram: