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Unterberg Poetry Center

Sandstorm

Mia Reiland

Is there a light meter for life?
I wear rooms like dresses. I want to press the mute button,
the sleeves vibrate too much and leave my arms sand-weak.
When I was the oldest I thought I ever could be,
the meter went blank. Is it too much to ask
that I want to be awake again? Laughing gas forces me to lose the words to say it.

Halloween costumes are barriers, air but not finger-tight.

Show me a mother whose eyes aren’t sand-soaked herself,
a mother who doesn’t deep down, secretly wish to give birth to a boy.
If only for the reason that she doesn’t want her daughter,
like her, to be dependent on laughing gas and miniscule grains of sand.
It doesn’t make me special to have nail beds that grow heavy stones.