Winter 2017 - Poetry

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Kate Gaskin

 

Specters

 

You don’t speak
much. There’s drink
for that. A porch

to slick with chicken
blood, a rabbit’s
foot, anything 

to fold back the night’s
eyelids, pin them
like moth wings 

to the purple light
of morning. Each day
the same milk-warm 

gestures. You knock
the dreams down
from the corners. 

Air out the specters.
Chase off the batwing
felt of sleep.

 

 

**

When All We Did Was Glitter

 

Those nights too
we went down the honeysuckle
road and picked the blossoms

from the blue-black bush,
their fragrance sweetening
between our fingertips 

into petals bright as the rising moon,
and there in the dark
we pinched each tender throat 

open, taking, because we could
and we were good
at it, all the nectar we wanted. 

What did we know then
of the future throbbing outside
the delicate carapace 

we made of that summer?
We just glowed and glowed
inside of it, so feverish, so gold.

 

 

**

Kate Gaskin’s poems have appeared in Cimarron Review, Drunken Boat, Nashville Review, Guernica, Bellevue Literary Review, Radar Poetry, Raleigh Review, and Sugar House Review, among others. She grew up in Alabama and now lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and son.

 

  © Ninth Letter, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.