Katie's Voice

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


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.


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

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