Saccharimetry (Kara Knickerbocker)

Say I became lost once, always within my body,
the flight of a thousand broken cells.
Say we kept pulling back the reasons,

how the window seats stayed open for you,
say there was something sweet
I could still fix my teeth into.

Say I find my way back into sugar & breath
after crossing lines through the skies & tell me,
when did you first realize this all was yours?

July months with their stubborn grass-stained knees,
a taste of the knuckled heart
you made believe you were born in.

Say the things you never have,
say that death will take you before I do.
But as for me?

I’ll say it straight:
I make room in my body
for the loss that keeps on living.


Kara Knickerbocker is the author of The Shedding Before the Swell (2018) and Next to Everything that is Breakable (2017). Her poetry and essays have appeared in or are forthcoming from: Poet Lore, HOBART, Levee Magazine, Portland Review, and the anthologies Pennsylvania’s Best Emerging Poets, Crack the Spine, and more. She currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she writes with the Madwomen in the Attic at Carlow University, and co-curates the MadFridays Reading Series. Find her online at


image: Lindsay Hargrave