Katie's Voice

Poems by Katherine Riegel featured in the online magazine Escape into Life

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Spirit Animals

My brother tells me he’s going
to the doctor; he gets teary too easily
now. There must be something wrong
that will show up in the blood.

I don’t tell him I think tears are primordial,
they’re mammoths and cave bears and pterodactyls,

they’re better than private jets
and all the cars on I-75, they’re our goddamn right.

He’s a straight man and a firefighter.
I don’t tell him what’s been broken over all these years
fills up the ponds behind our hearts.

It happens slowly:
a dropped glass, a lost book.
Bicycles. Old apartments with their clever
mice. Trains, still hooting plaintively.

Even a feather now
and the water overflows. It has to.

Yeah—all that rusty junk
makes each of us a back yard in the rural
everywhere of America. Brother,

we’re here now. Brother, everything
shows in our blood.

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…and three more poems here, as well as lovely and fascinating art selected by the site editors.

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