The Take

The Take

Acupuncture Dream


A woman in denim

arranges the needles

in comforting symmetry metal pins

that salute

the window and its beads of rain

from their posts along my wrists.

Without machines the mind is free:

an expansion of sky and bird,

the Buddha in me quiet among the mud and lotus,

mind landed on the Chinese word

Kai her name sounds wide as oceans, ready to be used.

I mouth it in my sleep, cradle it in my brain

the way you do a piece of news before passing

it along. For a moment I forget the pins

and the room and the losses.

I levitate in the bliss of someday

when my daughter will be upside down

a mollusk on a blackened screen

and later when she will bend

to catch the rain puddled in skies

around her boots.

When I leave the room,

my eyelids have migrated

to my neck, each breath

so deep it is released

directly from a portal in my palm.


Poet’s Statement

Certain poems seem to write themselves and, occasionally, the end of a poem is not a close at all, as it opens a door to memory, dreamscape, and healing. “Acupuncture Dream” is just this poem for me: the first in a sequence about the transformative years when I navigated the grief and magic of waiting for a child. This poem embodies the seismic shift from focusing on the body’s failures and losses to its strength and possibility. Writing this poem was an act of letting go, much like the speaker’s breath released from a “portal” in her palm in the final lines of the work.

Editor’s Statement, by Jonah Meyer, Poetry Editor

Casey’s poem employs such gorgeous imagery—the “symmetry” of acupuncture pins as they “salute” windowed raindrops, the speaker “levitat[ing] in the bliss of someday.” Reading this piece proves an enjoyable experience—sounding out the Chinese name Kai and breathing so deeply, along with the poem’s speaker—an “expansion” of sorts radiating from within, much like the poem’s “sky and bird,” wide as ocean, silent as Buddha.

By Siobhan Casey

Siobhan Casey earned her MFA from Chatham University in 2011 where she worked as an editor on The Fourth River Literary Magazine. Her chapbook, Three Fourths of a Dream, was published in 2016. More recent work has appeared in Up the Staircase Quarterly, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Cathexis Northwest Press, and is forthcoming in Stoneboat Literary Journal. Siobhan is a part of the “Write Beside” literary community, a sacred place for reading and writing poetry. She loves photography, orchids, and chasing her dog and daughter up and down the coast of Boston, Massachusetts.