Katherine Fallon received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.
Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Passages North,
Foundry, Permafrost, Meridian, Colorado Review, and others. Her
chapbook, The Toothmakers' Daughters, is available through
Finishing Line Press. She is a Lecturer in the Department of Writing
& Linguistics and at Georgia Southern University, and shares domestic
square footage with two cats and her favorite human, who helps her
zip her dresses. She and her favorite bread recipe can be found at
katherinefallon.com. She is reachable on Instagram @ghostelephants.
At first glance, the gray bird, feathered breast slick
with death, severed headlike the wall of windows
the outdoors shone through, could have been
one of the mice who ate all the crop seed, nested
in bags of what should have grown for us. I snapped
their necks, swift as shadows. I hadn't killed a thing
since we met, since you make me kinder, but their eyes
went bald as tires, and that's a kind of kindness.
Would that you were here,
and with me,
and that you felt for me
the old, electric hum—
Were your breastbone shot
through with me, with
When I loved you,
you were often so ugly
it turned virtuous.
Here and there I still imagine
I want that smallness.
Slow slide into change or sharp break,
I have no idea what happened. Turns out
you are only human. First, allowance,
and after, deference, years accumulating
like rings of the Giving Tree. I battled secrets
big as houses. Your skin suit, your cracking
patella castanets: initially, you were right there
for me to touch, and then you drifted off to sleep.
Brick, near-empty cabinetry, two cyclists
with helmets that way, beyond the flour jar
in the window. The stray cat mine watches
day in, out. I try to tell temperature by
the pane's, can't imagine what it's like to go
bird-boned into that wind, uphill, anymore.
Compelled to wait for a door to open,
head thrust out the busted kitchen screen.
Up here, with squirrel, with power line.
Back to Front.