Poetry by Carol Matos

In the Asteroid Belt


Between spread fingers

we are bits of flesh, no more.


Like a rock left over

from the beginning,


you never come close to earth.

Not to mess


with switchblades,

I shake loose my sweat,


fix a frequency,

a steady hum with no collisions.


Grooming myself before you,

I’m the site of pyramids,


the pleasure of air in your lungs.

Sitting down next to you,


my bones slip without color—

a cloud transferring


to the ionosphere

or a quiet sound at the edge of space.







Iconic Fossils


3.2 million years ago

we stood up straight


our divergent thumbs

embedded in our bodies.


You and I are unlike

like a dog’s sense of smell


or the musing of a trapeze artist.

Only scholars strutting out words


a one-note serenade to me—

is this encoded in your genes?


Closing my eyes, I see you

a cage for my mind.


When I speak, our history

tumbles out, a valley


of exasperated hands in the air.

I mutter, even lizards tell us


the structure of our brains is the same.

In fraught seconds, I’m drawn to you.


Slush underfoot, we slide to each other

relearning names of geologic eras


and in rigid delight

we feel the unmistakable tug


of tender gifts flipping in our veins.

Our future persists until one day


we’re fragments of bone like those

lying in wait in the badlands of Ethiopia.






Carol Matos’ debut collection of poems, The Hush Before the Animals Attack, was published by Main Street Rag in 2013.  Her poetry has appeared in 34th Parallel, The Comstock Review, ROOM, The Prose-Poem Project, RHINO, and The Chattahoochee Review.  She has been a semifinalist for the Spoon River Poetry Review Editors’ Prize, and a nominee for the Pushcart Poetry Prize.  Formerly a professional photographer with exhibitions in New York City and Europe, she now serves as Director of Administration at Manhattan School of Music.

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