• Caroline Naughton

You took yourself off the altar

Done being front and center

Bigger and taller than me

You and I, too similar in shape

Ripe for comparison

Until you left me lonely

Green with envy was I

So you could take rest

With your crystalline heart of quartz

You sacrificed the old and sober

At the altar

Of tattoo guns

And rose-colored glasses

You’d rather worship at the altar

Of eye pillows

And moon circles

Than respect my honor

You took yourself off the altar

No homage was paid

No last supper before you laid

Down you went

Leaving no memory of yourself


All that time

Sitting next to you

And still

I never knew

What did you do

To deserve that space

On the altar

Where I stayed

My camaraderie came at no cost

Easy for you to bail

No case need be made

For why your freedom, couldn’t fail

Just your luck

The right card was pulled

Out of jail free

And there I was

In your stomping grounds

Standing small

Without a threat

He belongs to you

You can come over now

I have something you might want

But you don’t want to know

What I did

To deserve it

You’re entitled

To another altar

Your defense is worthless, anyways

It’s not a match

You want to light

Burn your incense

Somewhere else

To be frank

You can’t bear a rival

Of equal rank

What do you have to lose

Other than your worth

You will not earn

Another promotion

You did nothing

To deserve it

I came before you

You bear nothing

But a name

And the rest

Is garbage

  • Caroline Naughton

We never stand eye to eye

Always a stair above

Kneeling while I lay

Darting where I stay

Either you’re falling

While I rise

Or you’re rising

As I fall

The beat

Is your call

Saluting the Sun

I’ll never know

How tall you could be

Next to me

I flew too close

Blinded by your light

Now I’m sober

And you’re still high

Come down

And greet me

Or at least

Let me rise

To meet you

With a sizzle

For my courage

To be lifted

And outgrown

Will break your heart

Today you were shaky

In a balancing act

You needed a spot

The wall, your best friend

You started to slant

Getting farther

From the simmer

Where I left you

Catching up to a boil

I let you lead

As the older sister

I knew you could be

I bought a third house

And invited you to stay

Turned up the thermostat

And led Saturn astray

Why, oh why

Does the Sun fall in Libra?

  • Caroline Naughton

There’s a problem

The thermometer says

He’s running too hot

To be grilled

Still she grills

Without a sweat.

Yet each sunrise

Dampened mats

Accept his sweat

Hoping she might

Cool him down

With a blow

In the name of


So that he may sweat some more

Onto the anorexic

Who has gone to bed

To arrest

His sweat

That drips


The mat.

In the name of temperance

Or indifference.

There isn’t a care in the world

That can make her

Do his job.

Or hang his towel

Damp to dry

There’s a laundry list

Of reasons why

She doesn’t hang

Or help,

Or give, a sweat.

Forget the sweat

There wasn’t a care in the world

That could make her


His medicine

Was way too hot.

But don’t sweat it,

For he might’ve bled

Her karma


Cancer, oh cancer,

Don’t you want to stay?

If she gives you a good grill

You will

You might

You may.


He’ll come back

The next day.

To sweat

So she

Stays wet.

Or so she says

Mars falls

To the mat.