2 poems — Kristi Maxwell
I wish not to reserve the gherkin
for the king her king, especially
The ferns leaked green
There were threats of jail-time
There were threats of Jell-O shots, too
One came to fruition one bore fruit
One blurred fruit and hoof Huff on
We came to from the coma of our apathy
We clamored for a path like a sandpiper
a meat-studded shell
A truth inhabited the shell of a fact
before it was hollowed out
by that which found its own value
greater What shall we eat
I cannot un-see die in dine—
the headstone an n becomes
The missing epigraph
My own tongue a flattened headstone
Who toppled it pink empire
punk empire if only one were ruled
by the tenant of one’s own mouth
Hold your tongue sweet infant
You are no sad birthday cake
There are still more women inside you
My canoe tongue
in the lake of
The water remains
hair. Let’s get this
is not conversion,
and a steak is both
cow and ache.
The stomach almost
But for that bustle of e.
Egress, egret, ease.
mostly holds ache.
This was before lack
was a brand of hunger.
This was before ice
was water’s pelt
and the body was
These poems are part of Kristi Maxwell’s manuscript My My, forthcoming from Saturnalia Books in 2020. Her recent work appears in Bennington Review, Boston Review, and Black Warrior Review.