Kimberly Quiogue Andrews

from She Said Between
Pronouns are both a problem
And a solution for Ashbery why
Hasn’t anyone written that article
Yet why can I not lie down among
The fact that
On Tuesdays and Thursdays
I might actually be an it
Whereas on Sundays I am without
Fail eating oranges in the kitchen
Draped in lovely rumpled striped
Linen my feet doing something
Whose only correlative is padding
And isn’t that something that girls
Do isn’t that the texture of food
We know to be sweet and full of
Vitamins like C
                            I am doing my part
Both to age more slowly and to
Internalize that clarity does not
Remedy suffering
And if you were to ask me how
To make space for an extra heart
In the corridors
                            between our legs
I would say that our lives rise
And fall with the half tide of each
Murky estuary
                            we hold under our
                   the heron’s fixed eye,
The confusion of fish new to
This world and its expectations
[Warp and weft.]

Moving through the hours, the t-shirts on the line hold on to one kind of gray while releasing another. This transferal has both nothing and everything to do with the body, as is common when one is trying to avoid lyric trendiness. Everyone wants to respond with graciousness to the breeze; everyone wants to adapt to environmental changes particularly when those changes involve keeping your head down and becoming a square of fabric tucked neatly into a drawer. Last autumn I was convinced for a time that I could be at once a woman and free from gender. I was dismembered by a combination of multiple errors and wide swaths of cotton poplin in both tan and white. Folding myself over a length of twine, I said to myself there are bigger problems in this world than whether or not your hair reaches the compressed wooden composite of the decking. But waking in the middle of calling your own name into a forest spells out its own kind of doom. Which is mood; even now I cannot avoid shuttling back and forth across the word’s scaffold. Do I do I do I do I. I, oh, die—as in, the holy chance, six-sided, that I will open my eyes to find myself elasticated and at peace.

Kimberly Quiogue Andrews is a poet, critic, essayist, and Pennsylvanian. A two-time Academy of American Poets prize winner and a Pushcart nominee, her recent work in various genres appears or is forthcoming in Rambutan Literary, The Shallow Ends, The Recluse, the Los Angeles Review of Books, ASAP/J, and other venues. The poems published here will appear in her forthcoming chapbook BETWEEN, winner of the 2017 New Women’s Voices Chapbook Prize from Finishing Line Press. She lives in Maryland and teaches at Washington College.

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