k a t    f i n c h

The City of Subdued Excitement Turns Its Back on the Roving Jewel

after Katie Cruel


I know who I love, stillness. The Salish Sea waits for me, never leaves questions on the tide. There is a summer moon in your hair. Something is always burning at the beach, and I know who does love me: Portia (—who may have no place in this poem, or this city, or in these past moments.) You & me as lovers on Yew, dirt marked, iridescent in the widening eye of night. I lie to myself, I know where I'm going—doesn't make it any less real. I say, I think cigarettes are part of the capitalist agenda; no one cares. I am a dog in heat, I am just misbehaving so you know the world is falling apart. The woman on Humboldt grows strawberries in her garden, tells us to eat them. Strawberries always remind me of lips and I know who's going with me, lone one. There is a bottle of Jack under the bed I am taking apart. It is easy to imagine you as a skeleton, as something old, as this bed-no-longer-a-bed. You're a box of soggy matches. Sparks wanton. If I was where I would be, excavating your dead-inside then I'd be where I am not—water-light, Vancouver we call Mordor from a distance, here I am where I must be, numb or nimble, secret? Where I would be I can not: I leave you in the woods; I am in the woods. At the end of it, I am antlers sloughing their velvet.



KAT FINCH is currently a Zell fellow at the University of Michigan where she received her MFA in poetry. Her first chapbook, Birds with Teeth, is available from alice blue press. She co-edits the journal Cloud Rodeo & works as Chapbook Series Editor for Wolverine Press, a letterpress studio in Ann Arbor. Her work has been published in Black Warrior Review, Elsewhere, Whiskey Island, & the Sonora Review, among others.

in issue twenty-one

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