Katherine Gibbel



I don’t know how to count
>in 9/8 or how to sing this bridge
>>my tongue a terrible cable, strong

but loose in the morning in the light spaces
>of my bedroom where our shadows

were all these names and I’m learning nothing
>in my youth I watched men

in bold white skirts spin circles
>my eyes unfocused as their feet
>>turned in loosening step
>>>their arms pitched in fleet praise
>>>>toward god as they lost control

little eggs perched on the spine
>of the equinox, the breakfast sandwich you leave

in my mailbox—I don’t know how to manage
>such skirting, this conversation against the wall

you—always so worried about the open
>window, my open mouth, let the night hear

our noises, what’s so wrong with leaning
>upon the twilight the voice that breathes
>>o’er eden upon the unseasonable

roses we can see in the bottommost shelf
>of window until night arrives, late as usual

my tight pants in pleats
>alone on the hardwood and you drunk

and locked out on the cold porch, a clock
>whose broken hands hold the night

close to your jaw—I didn’t check
>the time but your legs were two frozen knives
>>I wasn’t sure how to hold or hand off

and I don’t know how to say
>how beautiful you are in your blue
>>shirt or even after you take it off

the angles of your cheekbones slicing
>the sheet back for just a moment before I slept


KATHERINE GIBBEL grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been published in, or is forthcoming from, Broadly, Dialogist, Bat City Review and The Rumpus. She lives in Iowa City, where she is an MFA candidate in poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Issue Four
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