Capri Sun pouch at college parties

Ocean Spray at bars

for every birthday     declining drinks

an impulse cocked and ready

     in the throat


I’m dried blood after cracking a new

wine stem, dull-rust linger

after Swiffer wipes and shadows

stagger out


family history prompts dry

pause at the kickback     try speaking

spirits into fuel, sharing visions

     of slurred wreckage


I’m fourth shot dropped on weeknights

and a problem calling quits, denial

of drowning but still urging that

it’s better not to start


one brunch friends     

all get rosemary greyhounds

recall front planters

back home     back then

hoping to perfume

onto air     escape inside


I’m chipped pipe tucked by Uncle

 into pockets, tongued to keep on

burning, keep on beaming

dime-bright smiles


inside     nestfuls of failed rosary,  

chipped crosses off another

uncle’s drawer     here Christ

dies next to a bad license


I’m bottle factory that swallowed up

Great-Grandpa’s arm, him

bringing work home by the case,

the sharded skin Gram patched in quiet


the basement filled with photos

crammed in waterlogged and cracking

frames     names floating through

     the dark keep swimming


I’m looking in the mirror

only long enough to

throw a stone



CD Eskilson is a trans poet, editor, and translator from Los Angeles. Their work appears in The Offing, Pleiades, and Cream City Review, and they are a 2022 Best of the Net finalist. CD is assistant poetry editor at Split Lip Magazine. They are an MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas.