Kori Hensell


over that dingdang dog, all chewed up
           on a balmy sunday afternoon,
                  i'd weep stupid forgoddamnever.

they wouldn't have believed the size,
           the color of the snail i hocked straight onto
                      god's green god's forsaken godforsaken earth—

why i quit smoking for my one and only
           lung left. they wouldn't believe
                      what is rooted and what is woven through,

what ripe fuse is lit by poppies
           safely housed and lovingly strewn in
                      the unstung arboretums of little girls.

                                            pistils clapping, azaleas fallen necrotic,
                                            the butane baby's lingering colic

i lived in a city of shadows i lived
           in an army of pines, mother played fetch
                      latenightly w her eyes

                                            a slangy glitch of snail softening for my shoe,
                                            a towheaded cheek kiss, the old man blushing blue

i am forever beholden
           to the patina
                      shell of our thirteenth year
           cicada, i am forever thinking
i could house my heart in such a thing

Kori Hensell is an MFA candidate at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and managing editor of Permafrost Magazine. Her poems, essays, and book reviews appear or are forthcoming in Pleiades, Big Lucks, Quaint Magazine, Utter, and elsewhere.

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