Tina Carlson


I once was a daughter but now am glass,
was bridle, bark, bound child after

dark. I once was a daughter until I fell.
I swallowed a stone, became squall, a squint

an empty place that held your hands.
Now see the sky through silicone and ash. 

I once was volcano and so were you, 
sisters of violence and magma and mud.

Miasma, you blew the homes down: wolf, 
pig, fire, dirt. You once lived in pink

like a myth, or a missive: I visited when I could.
I once was hospital, a howl, hoarder. Once

a beetle, begging bowl, star losing light. Because
I knew you, your speed and spread, I climbed out 

of my mother’s mouth and sang in the silt. 
Know me as bird, blown open too fast.

Tina Carlson is a queer poet living in New Mexico. She is the author of two previously published collections of poetry: Ground, Wind, This Body (UNM Press, 2017) and, We Are Meant to Carry Water (3: A Taos Press), a collaboration with 2 other NM poets. A Guide to Tongue Tie Surgery is forthcoming in spring 2023 from UNM Press.