Kimberly’s Hands. Kaci Skiles Laws

Kimberly’s Hands

It’s late, but
there is always time 
by the subway.

Kimberly dabs her thumb in concealer 
to rid me of my dark marks;
I can’t sleep anymore.

A man offers me a bluetab,
to wait for the ecstasy footswitch; I decline, 
the subway dashes, her hair reaches, 

she continues to fill in the depressions 
with porcelain, and my face eats a palette 
of rhinestones.

It’s late. I’m turning thirty one;
there is supposed to be a pivot. 
The street—a canvas. The subway—
where we leave suggestions of our youth. 

Like a modern day Hansel and Gretel, 
we slough off traces of glamour
toward home, for the curious raccoons, 

until the city hag decides to char,
her cackles rest in cinder and ash.

Kimberly’s fingertips keep pace;
we are statues chiseling out our own 

She concentrates and it’s better when
she doesn’t speak or ask why—

why we start letting ourselves forgo love,
why we ever stop scratching for connections,
why the glitter sticks only in places
we wish it wouldn’t.

Toothed One

For the last time,
I mistake dragonfly nymphs
for silverfish and earwigs. 

I come to understand an
incomplete metamorphosis
and erratic patterns;

I try to imagine years living
an aquatic life,
the hush of the waterbed womb,
halting the last hurry of months 
of hunting and being hunted.

Would it be a choice—
emerging from the wetlands,
a pond, or someone’s garden palm,
to step into window pane wings, 
to sprout stained glass, vintage markings?

I ask them why God siphoned out
all the oxygen from the Paleozoic era,
stole their two-foot wing spans;
had acted as a catalyst for their
fall from grace. 

They answer with swarming
silhouettes at sunset,
their distinct outlines’ darting
as if motionless—oxymorons;

They show a process, but me not
set apart from it or
their thin-film interference,
the relic fairies who’ve come

to eat every last mosquito,
gnat, and no-see-um
collecting from
my thoughts of them.

About the contributor

Related Articles

Poetry- Dana St Mary

the flag keeper he walks slowly to the place with that solemnity that cadavers bring, and leans the heavy ladder on the mast-like pole. a tilted head and gooseflesh show that today...

Forty-one children

Chris Christopher Kennedy is a Mandarin scholar, poet, journalist and author.

What’s in issue 43

Issue 43 lands on September 15. We preview the content for you.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More Like This

Matt Dugan- Poetry

The Modern Pasquinade  Knack to all gamesmanship  is to always let the enemy  feel they are winning. ...

Review: River Hoard by Neil Leadbeater

“River Hoard by Neil Leadbeater” is split into three parts, “Nights we Tricked the Corncrake”, “Fen Country” and “Objects at Upper Ludstone” plus a sequence “North Aral Sea”. As the titles suggest, it is mostly concerned with nature and human interaction with it.

Poetry from the Winner of British Haiku Award 2017

Deer Medicine In night white with birch and moon your heart hears hooves  crossing its wide...

The poetry of Traian T. Coșovei in translation.

Traian T. Coșovei (1954 – 2014) was a Romanian poet of the ‘80s Generation. He was a founding member of the ‘Cenaclul de Luni’ literary circle, a group that would eventually set the tone for much of postmodern Romanian poetry. He was the recipient of a series of prizes, including the Prize of the Romanian Academy and the International Nichita Stănescu Prize. Coșovei published over twenty books of poetry, literary criticism, and prose.

Poetry by Sandra Yannone

EVIDENCE OF THE PREPOSTEROUS IMPOSSIBLE  Nothing moves in the breeze so exquisitely...