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  • 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

Behind


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

Devotion.


So that he may sweat some more

Onto the anorexic

Who has gone to bed

To arrest

His sweat

That drips

Down

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

Metabolize

His medicine

Was way too hot.


But don’t sweat it,

For he might’ve bled

Her karma

Away.


Cancer, oh cancer,

Don’t you want to stay?


If she gives you a good grill

You will

You might

You may.


Praying

He’ll come back

The next day.


To sweat

So she

Stays wet.


Or so she says

Mars falls

To the mat.