What cruel trick is this?
To wake up with a switch flipped,
a mental miracle turned curse
for better or worse a brain war
and I am on the front line
screaming for peace.

Do not say the words will come with time
or maybe never for a poem.
They are mine, they are mine
what rewiring took place
will be undone.


Start with the death.
There is always a death.
The death of skin beneath silver,
of eyes under emptiness,
of possibility.
But how to finish?
With death.
There is always a death.


Sky bleeds
red to gold and orange
and I long to be in New Mexico,
to witness the monsoon at the break
of rain, to see the fall of water
that will sustain for a year.

How exhilarating the first drops must be,
after months of waiting,
of longing, parched, for the single
sensation of quench to thirst.


And across an empty room an echo,
unforeseen, a resurfacing of pattern,
matching of strands
x and y and twirl,
a waltz with God,
it must be blessed.

An answer to question not posed yet,
a finality, unwelcome branding
of caution. Enter chemicals,
dance across the polished floor,
tread upon the vacuums.
Fill them.
Bless them.


Outside, the porch is sitting and wondering
about lightning, and the dumptruck,

the old lady slouching by the stop sign,

about you,
and me,
and the cursing the shower receives when the water runs cold,

how we manage to fit our oversized appetite
in our undersized fridge,

and the way you cover my breast with your lips
not worrying about the neighbors peeking
through the miniblinds
or the ambulances passing by on their way to the hospital

right up the street from the porch.


This air is drunk,
careening through my hair,
stumbling around my bare shoulders
as I sit, contemplating, searching
for a way to ride the wind

After the edge, the ground
screams solid, and night
slides through the open window,
a hanger-on to the breeze,
an impulse that begs step out
please and thank you into his arms.
Disappear into his shadow,
an extension of air,
a simple breath of summer.


KATHRYN ROBERTS' work has appeared in various journals, most recently Elohi Gadugi, DigBoston, Metazen, and Pithead Chapel. Her debut novel, Companion Plants, was released by Fomite Press in October 2014. She is an MFA candidate in poetry and fiction at Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Vermont with her husband, where they run a small bookselling business.

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