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Lamplighter by Kalyn RoseAnne


My mother buys me things to sit in drawers

saying even if you don’t like it, keep it

She purchases something at a closing

of the store where she picked an outfit

worn to witness my marriage by the river

an accidental metaphor for the ways

we change yet remain in the same bed

Put it in your dresser, she writes in a text

Pull it out sometimes, remember

I read the words behind her words

Pull it out sometimes, remember

how I raised you, lying back-to-back in bed

in the absence of anyone else’s care

Know how many times I wanted to buy

you a world I could not afford

so instead lit oil lamps

which fascinated and danced

before your child-eyes

Please hold onto the memories

of their flames once I’m gone

and I’ve left them all to you

Kalyn RoseAnne studies medical anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She self-published her first book, High Wire Darlings, in 2014 and her writing has appeared in Wildness Journal, Hooligan Magazine, and The Talking Book. She lives with her partner and their dog Mage, who is a German Shepherd/Gremlin mix. You can find her on twitter @kalynroseanne.


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