Featured, Poetry + Short Stories

Mine: Poems by Carrie Kaufman

Body (January 2020)
To carry me
To lift and transfer 
Use your core not your arms
I always say.
Take the weight of my body 
As if it was yours
‘Cause I cannot hold it, 
Help carry it please.

I was told that it’s helpful
To visualize that you are pregnant with me.
Hold me close to your middle 
But move us as one

How exhausting are 
these exchanges of weight.
I’m holding what’s held in your body as well
When we touch,
When you help,
It’s a transfer.

A lesson (November 2020)
I need to be more than a lesson
You learned. More than 
Magical sex 
A window to see possibility thru
A reminder to be thoughtful 

Visibly deviant 
Emotionally convenient
I am not what you thought:
Easy to leave behind
Too hard to take care of
I do not have
The most resilient heart.

You mistook me for a fantasy but
Inhaling in sync
We were as real 
As the candlelight warming the room

Which one of us did you soothe 
When you said i was strong? 
What did you get out of holding me?

Somatics (September 2020)
My body floats in a limbo
I hover awkwardly above ground in my dreams 
Never knowing “comfortable” in waking life
I am trying to find the balance.

Healers aren’t here in it with me
Can’t tell me how to meditate 
With muscles that won’t 
Stop firing
Stop burning.

Aware and present 
My body drifts further away from me.
This has nothing to do
With self love.

I do not feel grounding through the soles of my feet 
They are held just above every floor
I only fear gravity 
Lest my body break further.

There is plastic and motors
Between me and touch
There is metal inside of my bones
All of these elements 
A world of pain 
The universe in which 
I survive

Body, con’t (May 2020)
My body is a minefield 
You could never understand 
Please trust me when I tell you 
Where not to step

Featured image: A collage-style image of a section of a tree warped in watery fluid shapes. Image by Ryan Edmund Thiel.


carrie sarah kaufman is a queer, disabled, white femme. she is a Jewish kitchen witch and ritualist, a plant mama, an artist, a survivor, and a work in progress.  art and poetry are her current tools for connection and healing.