Anders Carlson-Wee

Taken In


The fear of growing older less than the feeling
of failing to do so. Before first light you grope
down dark hallways in someone else’s home,
fingers raking walls for switches. You turn
a valve, strike a match, hover above a burner
and wait for ignition. Whoever owns this kitchen
showed you how to do this, but for a moment
you can’t remember where you are, who took
you in. You look around the rooms for clues.
Roughhew of rifles. Couches. Crisco containers.
The tolling black hole of a Peter Pan clock.
A watercolor of Jesus stumbling from his tomb.
You strike another match to eye the faces
on the fridge: not you, not you, not you, not you.

Anders Carlson-Wee is a 2015 NEA Fellow and the author of Dynamite, winner of the Frost Place Chapbook Prize. His work appears in Ploughshares, New England Review, AGNI, Narrative, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. Anders is currently a 2016 McKnight Fellow.