My Soul

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.

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