Issue > Poetry
Mag Gabbert

Mag Gabbert

Mag Gabbert holds a PhD from Texas Tech University and an MFA from The University of California at Riverside. Her essays and poems have been published in 32 Poems, Stirring, The Rumpus, Thrush, Anomaly, Phoebe, Birmingham Poetry Review, and many other journals. Mag teaches creative writing at Southern Methodist University and for Writing Workshops Dallas; she serves as an associate editor for Underblong Journal.


I used to love a boy
who wrote graffiti

iced tea
rooms filled with paintings

when I got sick
my mom would buy me
a butterfly cocoon
hung from a stick
cradled on another one
that looked like a wishbone

after a week or so
the butterfly would hatch
and I'd let it go

snow days
nail polish
with predictable endings
like waking up from a dream
into a dream

I love knowing
that some species
of moths live off the tears
of larger animals
that no two lions
share the same
pattern of whiskers

I love the way the lion cubs
hide among the rocks
I love their whole
and heavy eyes
their bodies kneeling
at their meat

these days the boy
who wrote graffiti
is a tattoo artist

he gave me a red poppy
beneath my arm
and last week
he got married

I used to love wedding
dresses with lace sleeves

I used to want
to let a cheetah eat me
as a demonstration
of how much I loved them

I used to want to
be on a SWAT team
or be a mother
by age thirty

I used to own
a little pink
sculpture that looked
like chewed gum
it might have been
my favorite possession

I love gum
love the way it turns
beneath my tongue


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