Caitlin Thomson

The Things We Live With and the Things We Don’t

I forget what living alone felt like. I forget
to wear makeup every day. I forget my hair brush

in the couch cushions. What have those who have
assaulted me, forgotten about? The way my legs looked

in that skirt? The way I smiled as a small child, teeth
still coming in? I do not think the strangers

who grabbed my body in the safety
of a crowd can recall me at all.

The technician attached the electrodes to my chest
and pressed them in hard with the palm of his hand

and then grabbed, so that the next day I was bruised
on both breasts. Did he think about the bruises? Purple then yellow.

We could pass each other on the street now that a decade
has passed, and consider each other strangers.

Caitlin Thomson is the co-founder of The Poetry Marathon, an international writing event. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals including: The Adroit Journal, Rust + Moth, Barrow Street Journal, and Killer Verse. You can learn more about her writing at

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