Two poems by Kathleen Radigan

Doom Seuss

Oh, today you are vapor! Downstream past the womb
beyond stars, guns and needles, dried blood, your new tomb.

Congratulations! Today you depart,
Was it cancer, a car crash, a fire in the dark?

You had brains in your head! You had feet in your shoes
You played short-stop, felt pain, learned the sax, sang the blues!

You were mostly alone, and you knew what you knew
though some nights you dressed up, chugging drinks that were blue

arm in arm with your friends, an invisible glue!
Now your friends’ lives will blur as their eyes blot and blot.

From here on, you are gone. You are only a thought.
They’ll reflect on your kindness and shrink all your faults

They’ll forget what you screamed, you will fade into schmaltz.
Is it warm where you are? Do you foam? Are you formless?

Do you miss us already? Bathrobed and gorgeous?
Remember sunrise from the summer-camp tent

and autumn leaves scattered on branches all bent
or the person you loved caught in sleep, and their scent?

You don’t need to remember the places you went.




The heart’s a warren of changeable
water a deep dark shadowy whatever
Its technical image is feathers
or the space in a sneeze between lip and quiver

I got scared my heart was marrowing
out its shift in my rib’s latticed
blackness I know I could be more grassy
in general I could walk in tall woods
and kiss sapling’s backs Pry up their bark’s

leather briar underneath and touch
thumbholes sweet water trickling
down my eyes I used to commune
with spirits in knotholes White sap
congealed on tree’s divots I was a lonely

kid and joy ballooned from me
I talked to deer but they said nothing
I tell you these things because
I want you to know

I’d like to live in primal haze, a half
asleep launch toward the toilet,
remove my bones and hang them
on an earring stand and sleep in a jellyworld
like organs lolled in fat My heart
on the screen was a shadow mouth

I was off-put by how it announced itself
Exposed its naked pretzel shape
I hated its mouth breathing how
it wearied of its metronome task.
Prone in its woodland cabin I wondered
is it hungry? Does it want to go
for a walk?

Trying to suck up each day’s
smear of light So far my heart endures
like Jonah awash in the limp soft dark




Kathleen Radigan is a currently an MFA candidate at Boston University. Her poems can be found in The Adroit Journal, PANK Blog, and several other places.



(Front page image via)

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