the poetry that matters

Megan Kaminski

Megan Kaminski is the author of the chapbook Across Soft Ruins (Scantily Clad Press, 2009). Her poetry has been published in Coconut, Denver Quarterly, Phoebe, 6x6, Third Coast, and other fine journals. She lives in Lawrence, KS, where she teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Kansas.  She spent much of her early life in Virginia, and lived in Casablanca, Los Angeles, Paris, and Portland, before moving to Kansas.

from Favored daughter 


White sunshine follows the hard frost
I am blinded by morning
last night very late I thought I heard
                the plants in the garden  
                the people in the village
let me tell you a story   a secret
when I was nine                I stopped seeing
practiced other vocations    worship         
trinity of sleep forgetting and waste
                was sent to the country
with the remembrance only of names
Françoise   Eloise   la mer
if I am to speak of them I must leave
the body   the place   this tongue

The music of birds survived neither winter nor Berlin
Glass leaves strewn sideways down hills
once wrapped in yellow flowers
contorted day brings vessels
                filled water and ice
drip slow from a bleaker expanse
whiter memory   light from the gas lamp
shadow cast on wallboard
and the hum of unknown outbursts

Temperate daybreak swathed in clouds
sketches the day across your face
no way to define the port to which
we might sail if sailing were
an option   only fields as far as the gaze
takes our abeyance of scale
Porto Alegre might not be so far
months back without a meaningful
referent or cleansed troubles  tall buildings
guard each side windowless and still

Spring’s sclerotic tendencies
make me see things in soft focus
as if possessing a lazy eye
for mountainous retreats in Southern Mexico
a more measured gaze might invite
inquiry     a desiring machine
more back bearing labor and words
spoken through mountain passes
weather and space came to dominate
                                by containing
if containment warrants fever
digging beneath blue tarps
scraping fingers on stone
all senses     all bodies

favored daughter
honey spent words   lips spill
language hung white in trees
swarm bump crawl communicate
lips echo speech hooked
to sky my heart my hive
                soldiered through prophecies past dawn-traced lips
                we becoming words becoming
bells belt out sheep
skinned wrung skied
our words slip congeal so
many skies fog the trees
saffron patterns echo drip


Here is your desiring map
                dragonflies in the hinterlands
                coal in the hills and words beneath
                tongues swollen with language
                feet tired of motion
we placed small rocks
patterned dunes across a sloping swath
                spread songs out to the bay
teach us to chart the tides
                orange and pink coated
                buildings partake in the smoggy dusk
                                                painted roof beams
                                                foundations cleared of ivy

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