He put on cursing like a garment,
let it soak into his body like water
and into his bones like oil

—Psalm 109

Kay, later in life, took on cursing
with a vehemence I hadn’t seen before,
using language as if an exclamation point.
If you didn’t figure out by tone or rhythm
this was something she felt strongly about,
she’d swear, this woman who had used
her back so many times when words failed,
turning and walking away, letting you feel
her abandonment, the lack of excitement
she filled a room with, even if overbearing,
opinionated, slightly judgmental, not in
the way you lived, because she was hardly
one to judge that, but in the essence of
your thought. If it was not a vehicle that
could carry you down the road in style,
she had no time for it. She was always
a little ahead, not by much, but enough
to lack patience. And she was always too
ready to party, so it was easy to dismiss
her intentions. She put on cursing like a
garment when she could no longer stand,
pivot on her heel, and walk out the door.

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KYLE LAWS’ poems, stories, and essays have appeared in magazines for thirty years, with three nominations for a Pushcart Prize. Recent appearances include Abbey, Anglican Theological Review, Chiron Review, Delmarva Review, Exit 13, Final Note, Malpais Review, Pearl, Pilgrimage, St. Sebastian Review, and Saint Vitus Press & Poetry Review. Books include Tango from Kings Estate Press and Apricot Wounds Straddling the Sky, a chapbook from Poetry Motel’s Suburban Wilderness Press. She edited the 2008 volume From the Garret on Grand: On Miss Lonelyhearts and the Virgin of Guadalupe and the 2009 volume Midnight Train to Dodge for the Pueblo Poetry Project. She is also editor of the recently launched Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. Lummox Press is bringing out a full-length poetry collection titled Wildwood in late 2011, early 2012.

One response to “Put on Cursing Like a Garment”

  1. Hey Kyle I enjoyed this. Also a huge fan of Miss Lonelyhearts. Thanks!

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