My Mole, the Animal

Catherine Leigh Reeves


Me-less mole floats, maroon and rootless
in a test-tube across town. Labeled by name. 
Lined up with the other-less moles, my
salty, suspended particle is patient
for the pathologist to feel its crust, to measure
its sun-tunneled tissues. To determine things.

I’ll wait for a week. 
They’ll send my results in the mail. 
They’ll send me the bill. 

Mole warming on my left collarbone. Resting, a mole-less
me remembers a rodeo. A wedding guest
in wintergreen spaghetti straps. Nothing on but morning
fog rubbing up my hotel window; mole. 
I could go on. Itching, 

I spent last night with the internet’s answering hat.
It is so helpful with suggestions. Maybe I want
to start searching?: mole with hair/mole on face/
molecules/moleskin/mole when mole goes bad/
mole the animal: click:
             -         subterranean lifestyle mammal
             -         a group of moles is called a labour
They labor earth tunnels, trap-sensing the worm flesh plunk. 
This is what it’s like to spend your life digging: you grow
extra thumbs, your face seals shut, you’re a plant
breathing kind of sleeper. Like the star-nosed mole: click: 
             -         in wet lowlands
             -         their stellar appendages feel five times more than my fingers can
             -         I'd like to feel everything
in the flea market that way, broken toys and empty perfume bottles. 

You could feel through to their stories: plastic smashing down the stairs,
the widow’s special occasion. They smell what lives in the water. I’m knowing
all about these online lowlands; they know even more about me. 
It’s a pink, fleshy touch
organ. My husband says his thumb is sore from all that newsfeed.
We’re silently strumming screens together on the couch
on a Saturday. Most Saturdays, and we are alone.  
Moles seem to know everything,
being functionally blind.

Mole-less me, joining the labour, someday:
             -         my face-stars will seal
             -         shut and see.


Catherine Leigh Reeves has taught English and Creative Writing in Wyoming schools. She received her MA at the University of Wyoming, with a focus on American Poetry and Gender Studies. You may find her poetry and articles in Rust+Moth, Rise Up Review, By&By Poetry, and Plath Profiles. Most recently, she was a Writer-in-Residence at the World Heritage Center in Assisi, Italy.