by Heather Dorn
I like to pretend I have a soul and that my soul
drinks with Charles Darwin’s soul on a train ride
while outside the rain pounds the grass down
and makes the world soggy and rainbow bright
ready for a new mutation.
My soul would sneak into the library after closing
and make a bed of paperbacks, piled like fall leaves
she would slip between the pages while she dreamed.
Maybe she would walk through the mud with Elizabeth
Bennett. Maybe she would go drinking in London with
Karim Amir. She might go to Lowood with Jane, go to the city
with Esther, or to meet Gwendolyn Brooks at the microfiche
machine to argue alliteration or slant rhyme.
If I had a soul, she would be the troubled kind. She would
go to court-ordered therapy and have angry out-bursts
over empty ice cream pints and stolen knitted shawls.
She would try to convince you of the patterns
in the wall, clawing to stay in. If I had a soul she would be
the damned kind. I’m no good at religion and it feels too good
to burn myself.
Heather Dorn is the Director of the Binghamton Poetry Project, a literary non-profit that runs free poetry workshops, contests, readings, and anthology publication for local voices. She is graduating with her PhD in English, Creative Writing Poetry from Binghamton University in Spring 2016. Her work can be found in Festival Writer, Helen, Metonym, and The Paterson Literary Review.