Aren’t we all looking for a way out of the owl’s talons?

A way not to remember

the honeybee’s sting, the shape of a boot on your back,

all the nights your breasts would leak, a child,

the sucking, the screaming.

Aren’t we all looking for a way not to remember

the poems that cry us to sleep, the little ghosts

we carry in our hands, dare we tell?

Forget the Ativan, the razor, your car in Little River.

You wrote in blood, and for your sacrifice, I thank you,

dear Poetess, dear Mother, you took care of your children

the best you could. I’ve heard the stories.


You’d swear no gas seeped through the door.

You’d swear you sealed worlds between us.

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Kathryn de Lancellotti’s chapbook Impossible Thirst was published with Moon Tide Press in June 2020. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a former recipient of the Cowell Press Poetry Prize and the George Hitchcock Memorial Poetry Prize. Her poems and other works have appeared in Chicago Quarterly Review, The Catamaran Literary Reader, The American Journal of Poetry, Quarterly West, Cultural Weekly, The Shore Poetry, Rust + Moth, and others. She received her undergraduate degree in Literature from the University of California Santa Cruz and her MFA in Creative Writing from Sierra Nevada College. She works for Estero Bay Kindness Coalition, a local non-profit organization who deliver groceries to families in her community, and homeschools her son, Jade. She resides in Harmony, California, with her family: a lover, a boy, a wiener dog, a betta fish, two barn cats, and twelve cows.

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