Kimberly Ann Southwick


She crashes the cymbals together
and doesn't tell me to clasp my ears,

so I startle as I try to embrace the black-hole anxiety
that clings even now to tomorrow's betting hands.

In the bathroom, my brother is crying on the floor
over a drop of blood he can't trace the origin of—

he says no one with his teeth showing. He says
conflict like it's two words. She flicks something

small and dark off of my shoulder and looks away
out the window so that I will look out, too.

She is already pedestal tall and the stairs frighten.
We freeze on them anyway to listen: an animal or

a series of falsely drawn conclusions that lead us
to doublecheck the lock before we leave.

Because of our favorite stray mutt, we follow
the gutters that don't lead to any possible river.

When we are far enough out and the line between
remembering or forgetting the roads back is blurred

by how every playing card-faced rowhome looks the same,
she tells me the truth about liquid iron, about solid love,

about the other words there are for blood.

Kimberly Ann Southwick is the founder and editor in chief of Gigantic Sequins. She has a chapbook of poetry out, every song by Patsy Cline (dancing girl press, 2014) and another, efs and vees, forthcoming from Hyacinth Girl Press (2015). Visit her website at & follow her on twitter: @kimannjosouth

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