Kimberly Ann






         -hebrew word: a cord, a bowstring, a life thread within
            the human body, the fragility of physical existence.


We are joined fast,
the way that graphite is joined to paper—crosshatched,

beams intersecting,
a bridge between two spaces:

the arch of your mouth, the arrow of mine: armor,
pinched plates in indivisible rows.

the way you do not touch me but look as though
you touched,

have mercy on me, my companion,

                                  this is the tablet of my heart

rib bone cleaving skin,
cirrus webs outside the window twining,

bedsheets threading through your limbs,

                                           long green spiny weeds.








            —a lament


Vinegar and spit, a slit of broken

the vein coiled as
a noose, finger-depth, tugging to keep itself

rooted—its stock grown into bone, muscle,
tooth, digested particles of

food, green waste—all that is left of
a dialect, an agony wounded with

tongue, the pink winnowed by
a table knife

splitting the skin, circling the rot,
letting it bleed without tourniquet—but

to pull it,
to drag its spidery history out of

the earth, to temper with
its permanence: how will the body

subsist?  Remove
your hand, let it

linger, ruminate the waste,
soft inside the muscle, bruised among

the veins—how it is all that is left of
a memory,

the saliva mixed up with
what’s chewed;

how if you try to sort the particles,
you will see that they are

braided, threads of
indivisible need;

how the body goes limp without
its history; how the root supports

the barley, the clover,
the weed.





Does My Palate Not Taste Disaster?



It’s as though the pen has caught my tongue and wags it at the page,
telling the story for me—

lines and breaks and schema that make total sense,
the cross-nature of metaphor:

how it feels like something my body remembers, but after I’ve written it down
I realize

this body was drunk,

opiates and cortisone coursing through its veins—the tonic
pleasure of releasing

no energy, no language—no force for force, only

broken glass, a distant clock, an animal howling at the moon, maybe

the shadow of a child on the wall—
I think I know her name but cannot

So when she wakes me, this morning, asking for a ride to school

I freeze,
anxiously caught in
a metaphor, the pen now recalling
the page,

how it felt to run my finger behind her father’s ear, slip my tongue between his teeth,
the pleasure of

force—to—force, drip—drip.





Kimberly Ann 2015


Kimberly Ann has received her MA in Creative Writing from Central Michigan University and is pursuing her MFA in Poetry at New England College while completing her first full manuscript of poetry.  She currently teaches undergraduate writing courses for Alma College and Central Michigan University.  Her poetry has appeared in Ruminate Magazine, Temenos Journal, The Central Review, Mothers Always Write, and is forthcoming in See Spot Run and Storm Cellar.