Kristin LaFollette

Middle Child

The young one, I knew he was in
danger being born in such cold,     his skin

lighter and more susceptible

to the sun.

Like a succulent, red leaves turned
upward toward the sky,
he is afraid to
be shoveled out of the ground &

I think I only remember the smallness of
him, the awkwardness of his growing
the length of his bones and the


of his wrists. Below all of that
fair skin,
a recollection of
our oldest brother, a
desire to throw     a pitch in the same way,

fine-grained, young bodies
golden like flax—

There is a boy on either side
of me; as the girl, I’ve     dreamt of


of both of them dying—I woke up
wishing to write notes &
with diagrams
outlining the ways

our ribcages have been bound
together with twine—


Fox fur against white snow—
We glide like songs from a mouth
Crunch of plants dead from cold,
crunch from asphalt, broken concrete
The raising of skin, low temperatures,
October, a month we are familiar with
You find me because you could see my bag, you say
You find me because, like an animal,
you know the smell of your own
We ride, two people who’ve known each
other for years, two people brought
together by blood
I show you things I know, buildings
that are old, buildings that are new
It will be quicker if we bike, I say,
although I don’t know why I’d want
it to be “quick” (you won’t stay once it’s over)
At moments, I feel I must tether you,
tie you to the earth, an apparition like
water, vapor in the air
Something invisible, something studied
but not seen, white mist in the fog

Kristin LaFollette is a PhD candidate at Bowling Green State University and is a writer, artist, and photographer. Her work was featured in the anthology Ohio’s Best Emerging Poets (Z Publishing, 2017) and she is the author of the chapbook, Body Parts (GFT Press, 2018). She currently lives in northwest Ohio. You can visit her on Twitter at @k_lafollette03 or on her website at kristinlafollette.com.  

JD Thornton