I Tell You a Bedtime Story

Jaime Warburton


There comes the day

when the miracle fails,

when it’s too hard to tell

wolf from girl no matter

how you check size

of eyes, of thighs.


There comes the day

when the lunar tic

tocks past some pebble

in the sky and you never

see it. When you say wait,

am I the train or am I

on the tracks.


When the damp-kneed fawn

stands arrowed, orphaning

her parents. When the slow

dressing down of flesh

leaves you melted

and railing. When

from now on, our parents die

all the time.


Friends, where is your pitchfork parade?

Barter rams for butter, and best

this brainpan, greased,

this heart that snuffles,

vole-blind. Come with your

reminders, bring your volleys

of herbs. Tell me about being


alive. Tell me, please, the story

of the sizzle, the hiss,

the breath we breathe

just before we kiss. 

Tell me you’ll keep watch

when my eyes are closing.

tell me we’ll die alive,

still inhaling. 


Jaime Warburton

Jaime Warburton (MFA, Sarah Lawrence College) is the author of the chapbook Note That They Cannot Live Happily; her poems and stories have appeared in publications such as Gargoyle MagazineHoxie Gorge ReviewStoryscapeThe Nervous BreakdownThe Collagist, and The Southeast Review. Jaime lives and teaches in Ithaca, NY.