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Mairead Case

By September 25th, 2020No Comments



When Grandma died
Great Aunt M-K sat at the kitchen table for hours
It was snowing she was looking at it
I remember thinking: she must be so sad
She must not know how to be now
Now I know I know nothing anyone is thinking


I don’t know shit, really
Which is funny ha-ha because
At the same time, I know how to make soup
I know how to make a lot of it, and then to eat it
I know how to put clothes on my body
And still feel like me I put ink into my body & blood
I stretch it until my fascia is stretchy lace

In October I felt a rib double I felt it poke my stomach
inside my own body, I felt the juices leak into other parts
There is a Perfume Genius song called MY BODY \ Mom says
when juices leak everywhere the doctor pours in a can of chemicals
swishes it around & the germs away, in my brain the chemicals were green
I tried to fix my puncture with whiskey but it was not the same thing

Sometimes it was though
Sometimes I felt like a queen

I would like to feel like a secret queen all the time
A benevolent one, with elbow-length gloves only the mice can see

I would like to tell Great Aunt M-K I understand more now
This might be a lie, but whatever: part of your brain can’t tell
Part of our brains think everything lasts forever, always

Once a lady taught me to carry knuckle rings
They did not teach me to use them
they taught me to be afraid that I could die
brutally, at any time

& They were not wrong but
they were not helpful either

It was a free class, I got a t-shirt too
It had a fist on it I cut out the neck

Did you know
transformative justice takes longer than a trial

Did you know
sitting in court once does not mean

you are protected

does not mean
you are safe

Why do people think
happiness is boring

The jury finds facts
what if

the only fact
is the body




My baby climbs into a tin can & flies away
My student says MY is awkward, is wrong, he is NOT YOURS

But even I am not mine, or if I am I didn’t want it: this red-blue ugh
Ugh I fucked to un-hate the sponge the glowed pock it worked

My baby puts their hands on me & only then do I sleep
Now I sleep, and it works most of the time
If it was all of the time it would be fake

The water is too low for one person but it is chin-deep for two

The water fills the space that isn’t us it is purple and green

Sometimes I think: you get out this is mine it’s mine & it broke

I am going to drown I will drown myself I will drink it all
Think of it as peaceful not lonely, says my love across the whirl

She says we will evolve I say: promise me



I am driving to the airport
to pick up my body

My body is squaring her chin
She      is
tired, wearing a green down coat

My body would like to talk about the brain
The brain changes so much in adolescence
The hormones!

I remember my body
singing to me I remember

Not being afraid to sleep
It was soft and multi-dimensional

a green ribbon

I remember this morning
I sobbed in the car because

Something sat on my chest
Something burrowed into it

like searching the internet for
“parasite + green + human”

it was bad

I could not tell my body about that

drove home

We sucked butterscotch suckers
She put her hand on my head
and I



Did you know
you can sit next to your loneliness
It is not a vital organ
I did not know
I am angry it took this long

to know

which is different than saying: Get Over It
different than: Nobody Told Me

When people ask about Resolutions
I want to say: did you know

I found a knife
I sliced a slice of pizza
and now it is better

sometimes better feels like sadness, which is confusing
like tuning the radio and every minute is symphony slash death

it is a fucked-up hope
it is a mug I grip for my friends
you have to keep turning
even though you don’t

you don’t have to do anything
I don’t know what the fuck goes on in your head!
Really: I have no idea

Imagine my brain knowing what goes on in your head and it looks like this:
+        +        ++                            what!

This poem is about watching a movie with my mother
There was a plane at the beginning and at the end
One reflected in water, one a windowpane
She knew the movie was over because the plane came back



Who the fuck cares if something lasts forever and unchanged
Lasting forever is a stillness, it turns it into death or shelter

I write underneath a pencil drawing of wild horses
I am glad not to want to die today, I am glad I was a dude

I was a person w/out metal in her leg, and then I was
I had it, the metal is still there, sometimes I see it sharp
When I can’t sleep, tin-kettle-feelings, shrivel slick
Does it web, it is still there, is my body metal
My body is metal, I can feel rain inside it my dude

Today I want a uniform to say: I am a dude
so you wouldn’t have to, so we could sit under the tarp
together, blue blood tricking out the corners of your mouth

We could eat sandwiches, impossible & tender, and fall asleep

I who have died am alive again today, my dudes
Let us eat nachos, let us haunt & drool & forever
The time is now is right fucking now feel the wind in yr hair





Mairead Case is a writer and teacher in Denver. Her website is