Mira Cameron



It’s snowing and I’m lying in the incoherent noise that is me asking what
you think. I don’t expect to understand what I’m doing but I know I
understand that you’ve been on my mind.

                           You’re laced into my thoughts, curled into the door 
                                                   each time I come home
                           from walking the dog. You don’t know / where I live. 
                                       I know
                           the exact movements of each time I’ve bled to kiss you
                                                                     in re/creation 
                           and every single word I need to remind myself 
                                                   why I don’t want that.


Who am I in a world without language?

                  I’m the one who follows a shadow’s sliver
                  believing it to bloom into a hollow secret. 

                  Outside of Big Timber, Montana, 
                  I realized I’d left you alone
                  in the tail end of a dark winter
                  after driving all night fleeing us but more so, 
                  fleeing after us, my failing ability to stand 
                  on my own, spun out by red wine morality,
                  questions that slashed without hesitation or
                  concern for the threads that held grasp 
                  between what was here and what was delusion, 
                  where was I; where a change, a tree suddenly there, a
                  gargoyle sconce, sent me past the silent walk I took
                  everyday to a blank space haven. 

                  Fleeing did little besides save my life 
                  which was more than enough reason
                  to work with myself to try.

                                    I let myself get away
                  and woke up to the first day of a new life.

A cup of coffee with one sip out of it somehow won’t splatter
                               as my car veers out of control,
                                         having hit black ice.

                  In at least one reality, this is how I die.



What am I looking for besides the way you say goodnight? 

             When we talk, time becomes 
                  a river you hardly notice has a current
                         running both ways.    

                      I’m rambling down the edge 
                      of the field I crashed into,
                 watching amber halos linger through the air;
                their glow a coal igniting the bare winter 
                crops, a casket of flame that will itself die,
               ash falling, faint into mud before sunrise, 
                flame waiting for the exhale of cinnamon 
                                           on your breath.


                          How can I separate greed from understanding
                          that you are always
                          on my mind?

                 How can we define who we are in relation to the other, 
                                                  without the other?

              I would never leave you alone
                                                                      in the winter,
                                                                      but I did.
                                    You weren’t alone 
                             and I’m not the savior;
you were alone,
                                                      I can still save.
                                                      Come near my heart.
                                         Let’s watch the crops burn tonight.
                  I’m warm from the glow of want 
                  in a way that contradicts the bitterness
                  of your perennial roots sprouting out my throat.


                  If not the way an anonymous figure kisses me,
                                      then how their fingers make me blush

                          wrapping their way back around my jaw.

                               Who am I talking to
                               besides the snow
                               that caught my body?

                          I miss lips against my neck.

Waking up to light melting through the windowpane
    as I taste my favorite smile streak across my face.



                                Imagine my childhood hallway.

                        My parents destroy each other
                        so I step over my brother’s dog
                        and go up the staircase, stopping halfway
                        to march in faux removal of self,
                        sit and idly listen to the screams,
                        the shaking rafters and whimpering dogs.
                        I do this just in case.
      The horrid part of me wants to laugh
           at my however old self: quivering, unable
       to refuse my own incapacitation
           lacking any ability to be what could change
                     the situation
           but needing to witness it the same.

                               I can’t see or be seen from the angle
                                    so focus on a few scattered marbles
                                  across the light wood below,
                   the peeling black paint on the grate
                          of a heating vent.

          Light’s coming through the forever unused front door,
                                stiff with antique glint.

                                 This house feels like hell
                                 and I’ve never let anyone in.

                   But when I close my hallway’s eyes,
                         you’re the one the door makes an exception for

                                                     because you’re the one I trust,
                                                  here for the eventual day we talk

          about whether ‘despondent’ is in the past tense,

                     the sins of striving for something better,

                                                                do you ever plan

                                                  to swim across the styx?


      On my walk to watch the wheat burn
      I take two pink candles. I light them
      once I reach an ember;
      watch false twin flames still try
                                 to dance; learn.

                                                         How will they learn?

                                 The candles end the night caught
                                 in an unexpected song of hope.

                          Decisiveness is what separates catastrophe
                                 from a fermentation process.

                          Can you promise me we’ll end up anywhere
                          besides a perpetuity of inferiority and lust,
                                        drowned and tossed around
                                 the cyclic motions of another’s eye?

        — Particles entwined find their way.

        — I don’t want to offer each other false promises,
                               I want our lives to be warm and full.

                          I truly believe this world can be happy,
                                       and I want you to know.

                                        Would that mean forgetting
                                      or feeling better, forgetting hope?


                                   Curiosity pulled on me one sleepless night,
                                     asked me to follow them to the bathroom
                                                                to reenact a role.
                                     I shut the door quietly and struggled
                                     to look myself in the eye before falling
                                    into my blood, river of indigo drifting out
                                    crimson through the tributary creeks of the
                                                linoleum floor.

                                                I saw if I could,
                                   but woke to the knowledge
                                    that I may just feel poisoned
                                    or never get better,
                                                                 or go away,
                                    only half-aware as to whether or not
                                    I’m causing the world a problem.

                             In another world, I won’t wake up
                              and the blood will immerse me,
                              and this will be how I die. I imagine
                              it will feel like floating through saltwater
                                      on a summer day
                               or when the world in my head debates
                                                                   between flare

                               and monotone wavelength. I was a corpse
                                                       and when I closed my eyes,
                               I saw death cloaked in nighttime red.
                               She swung her blade as I moved closer.

                                       A dream I used to have rains overhead.

                                                    For the rest of the night
                               I can’t stop myself from feeling like a sin,

                               like my own resolution to a sleepless night.


                                                      My feet are covered in blood
                                              and you would say I’m alone,
                                                            and I would say I’m not,
                                            that the ensemble in my head
                                                                           have built a stable
                                             enough rapport to
                                                           carry their own presence.

                             This is a literal message that means nothing
                                                                         which is most of life.

                                       The blood from my feet has left a trail
                                               that ruins any hope of anonymity I have.

                               It’s a heartbreaking ultimatum I’m terrified to lose.

                               I am who I am as I jog across the street to kiss you

                                                                          a coincidental hello.


I take a simple mixture: herbs and warm spices, then grind them into oil, mixing in tree
resin to make a salve for the gashes scattering my skin. I strip my clothing and prepare to
be anointed, repeating manifestations for the world to hear. Holy work is for when you
need it to. Hope is a ritual of learning time and action. The buzz, a humming chant, our
worlds and we are all singing. I stand up tall, take the paste and seal the gaps in one full
moment of bliss as I watch it mix into my blood’s routine drip. My reflection in the
mirror falls away, replaced by my family’s mulberry tree                  
                            struck by lightning.     

                                                                   Fire burns from the inside out.
                                                           My last sight is my body cracking open.


The bark is scarred but I surprise myself and move back
into the burrow beneath. Heat weeps from my roof
and I struggle across the years, finding a way to live
a happy life. I regain agency walking the woods;
find life by watching it, reenacting it, acting as myself,
an evolving mind, a mutant body. Rejoice.

I go to bed one night and the ceiling collapses.
Again, I learn my lessons of massive death and rebirth.

Flames dominate my life, loominate over my sleeping body,
so I join them, burning out radiant shafts of light; and we share

                            our sentience alive in the sun.
                       My new life warms herself from our burning body.

             I hear the birds gossip in the smoldering morning;
             through them, I know it’s time for me to leave.

I feel an immense amount of guilt despite no real pressure,
                                                                   but still manage
to leave behind the charred remains of a life I can no longer

Mira Cameron is a 26 year old trans feminine, masc for masc darling of a poet. They tend to call Chicago their home, or the central Illinois cornfields, but at various times, Washington state and an Illinois state minimum security prison have filled the role. They work for a food justice based urban farm as a farmhand and grant writer and attend Roosevelt University where they double major in Sustainability and English-Creative Writing. Their poems can be found in JABBER, Anti-Heroin Chic, Corvus Review, and Boats Against the Current; a chapbook length sequence is in Slippage Lit. Connect with them on Twitter @nonsensetheimp.