Kirsten Kaschock


and then the revolution came but I had not
the will to lead. I had no will.

I drifted toward the mountain, watched floods
wash up and down, up, and down—blood left.

I had been, once, a mother. I could scare
some food up and did until I stopped

thinking myself my own child. My own
children were elsewhere, were struggling

or dead or on another mountain
horrorgazing at the world I had left

for others. Worlds. I took my last bite
of grackle, put down its bones, turned

my face to places most likely as bereft
as this one. I slept, starved, and slept and

spoke the little star poems of my head.


finished, it was clear we would have no more of it.
Blisters broke out all over the earth, globes of slick soil
expanded, greedy keeps of the last excess—a word
done with. You were a child. You dove, hands like
a church latched, burst a boiler, spun the hot rush of drops
into evaporate while I stood—all grin: I could summon
no tears to show you
                             what you had, what had been, done.


the worst of us
became monsters, yet
to be monstrous re-

quires inquiry.
Imagination. In-
stead, our dark

made of
us more utter

as we crept what
long, cruel

it is just for us
to be.

Kirsten Kaschock is the author of two books of poetry: A Beautiful Name for a Girl (Ahsahta Press) and Unfathoms (Slope Editions). Her novel, Sleight, will be published by Coffee House Press in fall 2011. She has earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia and is currently a doctoral fellow in dance at Temple University. Kirsten lives in Manayunk with her three sons, their father, and a small boxful of Needs.
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