Light Transit

Light Transit
by Susan Steudel

The child that you’re handed is natural, wrapped
in a blanket a thousand times bleached. Placed
in your arms for keeping safe, a perfect wedge
between waking and death. You think in this
moment of difficult entry the same death waits
in household things; the key that drops silently
out of your pocket, a booklet of matches in with
the socks. A shackle is something that hooks up
inside you, the vending machine of a body that
hums yet is natural that boys should sweat
through their collars. These are the structures
that tug at you now. His collar is quilted with
little wet stars and it is natural to wonder how.
The girl that you used to be must have come
down to learn to hang from her knees—those
silver half moons of hers ready to fall—still,
how many times have you done it yourself. A
girl, you think, could bend at the elbows, reach
up and touch her bare, thin lobes. At home your
hand is the rag you loosen to set up the plates to
dry. Some children are with you inside this
room. One reads a book, a quiet. The other peers
into the back of a spoon. Look, mom, the metal


Susan Steudel has worked as a deckhand, a chambermaid, a night auditor and a waitress. Presently she works as a court stenographer in Vancouver and in faraway places. She lives with her husband, two kids and two cats.

Susan Steudel