Kate Magnolia
You Found the Rope to Uncoil

How I preserve: I want to swallow five whole peaches.
There is nothing like one game, or a slew. It makes me
feel like a woman again. For the sake of being dark.

Under the kitchen tile, my stomach wants something.
Again, I tell you it was for juggling, or it was for
the fact that you never mind. I tell myself, at least,

there's no rope. If I were to fully come down,
you would hog tie me in the air with your hands.
There is nothing like doing tricks because I

am woman and mad. I want you to know that I have
almost everything up here. Bet you never
thought I could be so furious.

That Measure is Faulty

You are under the law of who gives, but I can have everything else.
Everything outside of that. So what if you sing here comes the bride,
or send in the clowns, too loudly. And who cares, if you linger. Use my lungs
like a canteen. Scrape seeds out of the bottom of the water.
Who cares if I fall, and the purity of my body is ruined. The nothing does more
than just position your head in the ___________ so you can hear the__________.
It reminds you that you are in fact, nothing and grace can be taken away in a second.
And where are you getting your grace from? Especially, when all you have left
is a fraction of the self. When the heart can't love the way it used to.

We Will Be Here, in What it Sounds Like

Don't hit that mailbox. You are embarrassed to have the wife who can't drive. Sometimes I worry you think I am the worst person in the world. I finally park in my mother's kitchen. The baby has been staying with her for four months. We are supposed to be settling our differences, as I've put it so promptly to my mother, but you still keep arguing with me about whether or not the baby is the object. I really can't take you when you say those things. I wanted to force feed you your own mouth. Here comes my mother with a cake for me. On it is the number. I look up at her right before she starts to sing. Her face almost looks the same when they told her that my father died.
I tell myself that I can't eat and cry at the same time, but of course I will do anything at least once. Before they start to sing, I just say it, mom, where is the baby. I have her bag in the car.

Kate Magnolia lives and writes in Chicago. She holds an MFA in poetry from Columbia College Chicago and is a co-editor for Black Tongue Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in several online and print journals, including Arsenic Lobster, Redivider, Columbia Poetry Review, etc.