Katie's Voice

To Endings–read it and shiver.

Siren Katie Riegel floors us with a gorgeous poem in Mead. 

by Katherine Riegel

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I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.
—Jack Gilbert

There’s a guy ordering hot chocolate at the counter
and when the barista asks him
if he wants whipped cream he says
yeah in this low, breathy voice that tells everyone
he always wants whipped cream and don’t all of us,
really? If I notice things like that too often or
too keenly now, is that a bad thing, or just slightly
less appealing, like hot chocolate without whipped
cream—still good, rich and mouthy, but not quite
everything you wanted? Anyway I care less
and less about appropriate and more and more
about wanting, about moans and sighs and how the sound
of a zipper can make you want to lie down
right where you are—on the sidewalk even, with
the cigarette butts and the cold seeping into your back,
if only someone would just kiss you
like they do in the movies. And I care
about beginnings, the lips finding that spot
on the neck, the too-much-clothing between skin
and skin; even more, perhaps, about middles’
secret stories, the slow but firm
touch, the nightingale vines curling from open mouths
into the dark. And when the ending finally
comes, the song trilled out to its last fluid note,
do we call that failure?

First appeared in Mead Magazine

 

Categories: Katie's Voice, Loving, Poetry

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