“I follow your trail, the scent of morning dreams

sliding into awake …”

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Hide & Seek

From the door behind the sky

slivers of light cross your tiny fingertips,

and holding on, your mouth dips down,

swallowing from a cup — a pocket of holy water.

Like a white-tailed rabbit, you zigzag and burrow.

I follow your trail, the scent of morning dreams

sliding into awake. Toe-to-heel I catch you

tucking us into a mirror. We play at rarefied heights;

snowy waves splash us with storied lace. Savoring

the world, we connect windows to galaxies,

grow trees wild with monkeys on your wall.

Reciting how the itsy bitsy spider went up

the water spout, I’m wrapped in rhyme,

cutting holes in time, spun with fading sparks —

I want to slow it down

like the light-years between stars.

The sun tilts and hazes the room. You tug

at my skirt, signaling “up” with your arms.

Your mouth to my cheek — there’s something

elemental in the way you say goodbye.


Carol Matos’s debut collection of poems, The Hush Before the Animals Attack, was published by Main Street Rag in 2013. Her poetry has appeared in 34th Parallel, Zone 3, The Comstock Review, ROOM, The Prose-Poem Project, Columbia Journal, RHINO, and The Chattahoochee Review.

The stars and nebulae at night. NASA.