May 25, 2018






That summer was a man

gathering fury like weather

was a sweaty ring 


on the railing was a lake 

green with runoff 

was a nest of water 


moccasins writhing 

down a river was white 

in the mouth 


fat in the head was long

in the snout with heat-sensing 

pits that summer


when we found blood 

in the yard as if someone

dragged from the door 


a mating ball of snakes 

in the yucca a headless 

hen strung up from the oak 


behind your father’s house

where all that summer 

we porch-sat and wished


on empties that glittered

the ditch across the street

as if they were pennies in a well.




Kate Gaskin's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Cimarron Review, Drunken Boat, Nashville Review, Guernica, Bellevue Literary Review, The Florida Review, and Whiskey Island among others. She is a recipient of a Tennessee Williams Scholarship in poetry to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the winner of The Pinch’s 2017 Literary Award in Poetry. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama.

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