Monday Jun 24

kate_angus Kate Angus’s work has most recently appeared in Barrow Street, Subtropics, Gulf Coast, Mid-American Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, and Barrelhouse. She lives in New York.






Here is the sky: a marsh, dark as plush, and we’re sinking
forward over the horizon. Drive fast. This is how children

fall into sleep. Look for planets. See, I kept thinking,
“blankets.” The sky’s a bog, which makes stars

and fireflies an obvious analogy. Red dwarves
are red currents if I blink but I could just be passive for a while, stop trying

to use language like a hammer.
(Isn’t a hill

in the distance described better
with the image of a darkened house?). Very soon

we’ll reach town. Tell me,
what are the clouds?--condensed moisture, but shaped like trees

whose branches reach out
to hold isolate air. Look, I have many

disparate thoughts. You know how the speedometer
falls when I drive. Tap your fingers

on the window on the passenger side. Because,
in describing this, I prefer to use gerunds,

that means we are still in the midst. I could list
spices considered in history

to make love a continuance (cinnamon; cardamom; cloves,
whose name might be the origin

of “cloven,” which is as divided
as the devil’s hooves; saffron

strands branch bright
as tiny coral; a bulbous partitioned garlic heart). One thing

leads to another but what makes
monsters of us anyway? Radiation in the water,

loud voices, the dark
crawl space under a bed, or a formula in Russian that says:

to become a werwolf you jump once over a fallen tree in the forest
that then with a copper knife

you must stab. First a leap,
followed by quick betrayal. If this seems too complicated,

you can also drink rain water
pooled in a wolf’s paw print left in the muck. In Germany,

one finds wercats. Foxes in Japan. Scandinavia
gives us werboars, and in Wales they are hares. All this trivia: dust clouds

in a room. The hotel’s bright
as a lightbulb. Immaculate

white sheets and curtains; cellophane sheathes
two sinkside cups. Inside, everything perfect

as a snowglobe.