Dawn Trook

Dawn Trook teaches English composition and creative writing at the University of California, Merced. Her work has been seen in The Rumpus, Colorado Review, Brooklyn Review, and other publications. When not writing or teaching, she can be seen as her alter ego Sweetie the Baker, who teaches science to children through cooking demos.


I’m a pile of bones,
clattering, too loud for a jaunt through the desert.
Fold me up, a wooden marionette,
put me in the chest with the other
old toys and scrapbooks.
Or take me, piece by piece,
detaching me by two-foot lengths,
line me up and wonder me
into something new—use these bones
like Lincoln logs, build me into a cabin
where caterpillars crawl to spin themselves
a tight bed, where within,
wings are made.


The bean plants are crawling up the trellis,
little curlicues weaving through the twine,
gripping and climbing diligently towards the sky,
making a ladder for a curious young man to ascend–
we’ll call him Jack–as good a name
as any. What’s a boy to do when he sees a plant
disappear into the clouds? When I was a girl,
I lived in the clouds, floated up out of my body,
mingling with storm-gatherers and angels.
Earth and its inhabitants
troubled me. Most clouds tricked me,
appearing like cotton candy
or billowing pillows,
but it was all an illusion and I came to realize
matter wasn’t solid, was full of space,
and I lived and breathed in the space
up there, so that when I was back on the earth,
trapped under somebody’s body,
I could find the smallest crawl space
and wiggle through his flesh,
float at the ceiling
until he was gone. I disappeared like Jack,
also discovering treasures stolen from my family
when I was ungrounded. What I found
more valuable than gold. I bring home a melody
that scrambles the dark truths of my youth
into beauty.

photo by: cheesechoker