Sarah Kain Gutowski


As the open eye, these windows are
without curtain or shade. When night dilates
and the irises close sliver-thin

around their stamens, light spills out
from within. We burn the bulbs
inside the lamps, meter spinning

a frantic carousel in its pan,
and the street outside becomes audience
to our show of limbs.

Loudly we contort our exchanges
and large expressions, because
we know what’s expected

in the performance. It’s made us
different, to believe
someone’s always watching.

We are less you and me; more them,
shadow actors moving
and speaking when directed.

Still, there are moments
when our old selves appear
and the absence of curtains or shades

proves less significant
than being here, quiet
and a breath apart, barely touching.

Sarah Kain Gutowski teaches writing and literature at Suffolk County Community College. Her poems have been published in the Threepenny Review, So to Speak, and the Baltimore Review. She lives with her husband and daughter in their new home (now with curtains!) in Center Moriches, NY.