Baloon Animal.jpg
Baloon Animal.jpg






Tulips sprout all over in little brown boxes. 
Sirens. Sirens make me think of rain
in the dark, red traffic lights blooming 
on the pavement.

The yoga teacher says we probably feel torn up
because of the new sun and the tulips 
and our anxiety. I’ve been trying to figure out 
which I am:
a mountain, a warrior, a half-wheel who maybe wants
to be a wheel… 

Each day I pass through a tunnel underground
to switch from one subway line
to the next. That’s where I pray.
A New-York-Times-published poet
lives in the tunnel and pastes his poems
all over the walls. When he talks 
he rocks his body back and forth,
arms crossed, and he wears a winter hat
even now.

People disappear for weeks 
without notice. I give some art supplies
to the poet.

In the tunnel there is also a man selling incense 
and a clown making balloon animals. 
The man with a guitar smiles 
as if he recognizes me.
I am the girl who often sings along.
But how could anyone recognize anyone
in a place like this?
A woman on the floor of the tunnel 
with her child says please
and nothing else, the word stretching out
like a balloon being sculpted
into something else.

Spring is the end of winter,
which is where I have been living for years.
I lay down in the ice
and take some home to make a mess
so I can clean it up
and make another one. 
The poet does not use the art supplies,
so I give them to the child
of the woman on the floor. 
He draws me a picture
of a fish.

The yoga teacher says I can do a head-stand
without leaning against anything—
stand upside-down in the middle 
of any room. To me this sounds like saying
I can breathe underwater, make the dolphins
smile. Which I guess, technically, 
I can.
I try the head-stand,
and she is right.

The sun comes and goes; I always pick
the wrong jacket.

The sun can do whatever it wants
and, I realize suddenly, so can I.




Caitlin Vance

Caitlin Vance


Caitlin Vance is currently a Poetry MFA student at Syracuse University. Her poems and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Tin House, The Southern Review, ZYZZYVA, The Literary Review, NightBlock, and Spoon River Poetry Review