Pupils like Myrrh by C.G. Dahlin


Pluming smoke,  

pupils like myrrh, 

lavender eyes, sage skin, grenache lips, 

a tongue of tannin with a gravel finish. 

The record spins, the needle placed, it’s just now catching. 

I’m laying on a beige carpet, bonded to it like velcro, 

staring at the eggshell white, popcorn ceiling. 

My body’s become a cauldron of amorphous fumes, 

the future telling me its long withheld secrets, 

trapped somewhere in the whirlwind sensation  

of the seemingly unintelligible situation, 

but there is the fully felt and known shape  

of the wispy, ethereal vapor. 

I’d love to grab a hold of it and show you,  

but it’ll sink between the fingers,  

the gift and shame of a moment that can’t be shared. 

How strange to see so clearly in a fog,  

maybe the plant spirits spoke up  

once the heat pressed deep enough into their essence,  

maybe they couldn’t keep their mouths closed any longer. 

It’s times like this where I wonder if you see it too,  

maybe we both just silently agree to not speak it. 

Perhaps magic coalesces in the boundless air between our aura pouring fingertips,  

the subliminal realm pulling out its medicine bag,  

cooking up a recipe that only the right season could brew,  

enough heartbreak, disgust, and residual hopelessness to preheat the cauldron,  

now it’s time to let my blood seep with the freshly plucked circumstance, 

let the elementals dance in its mixture.  

That’s when I see it, what it wants to be, a future, a glimpse of the arrival of a home. 

Such beaten eyes tend to scoff at such illustrious luster. 

The needle is just now catching. 

We’re in the crackling static, before the song begins 

and my oh my, how it’s tones will lift us. 

Did you see it too? 

About the Author

C.G. Dahlin was the first designated Poet Laureate of the University of Wisconsin–Stouts Honors College. In Central Washington, Dahlin spearheaded two volumes of the regional anthology The Whispers of Wenatchee. He now attends Eastern Washington University for an MFA in Creative Writing and is the Managing Editor for the practicum program, Writers in the Community.

Scroll to Top