Sandra Kolankiewicz's poems have appeared widely, most recently in One, Otis Nebulae,
Trampset, Concho River Review, London Magazine, New World Writing and Appalachian
. Turning Inside Out was published by Black Lawrence. Finishing Line has released
The Way You Will Go and Lost in Transition.

Nothing Is As Simple

Nothing is as simple as an old man
in a hospital bed, wearing your face
thirty years from now, begging the nurse for

a drink of water. To complicate, have
her refuse beside a suit declaring
Medicare won't pay. Some insist they once

had a place for us on the dark side of
the moon, the station now so old concrete
is spalling, only three of the great domes

usable. What will you tell them as they
turn you away, when you've always said much
is right here, now—so all we have to do is

ask, and we'll receive. One room over: a
visitor who can't explain, that came to call
months ago with no other place to go.

Because He Could Not

Because he could not naturally control
his peptides, he knew the difference between
pride and gratitude. Only when we have a
wall do we want freedom. With too much distance
between objects, we then cry to be captives.
After all, the common bonds which connect
the consecutive triplets of atoms in
that chain regarded as the backbone of a
molecule can be broken, hydrolysis
of compounds a pure fact of life under the
skin, messy, sometimes making mistakes become
the pathways that lead us to tragedy, touch seemingly useless,
merely a sign of saccharification.

Enhanced Techniques

The current Inquisitors learned from the
Masters, we guessed, for we had read the wrong
Classics. I don't know about you, but I
did not bear St. Dominic on my shelf
until now. Who would think God could make a
Torquemada? Even his name hints a
creator's wink: press while twisting. Burnt. Stirred
heir to bench mark year Directorium
was published: tenets,
errors, sixty-nine heresies reckoned,
just one of Dominic's original
rules dropped: the forbidding of torture a
second time. Until then, putting either
man or woman 'to the Question' could be
'Suspended' or 'Continued,' but not
'Repeated,'—Manichean, Moor, Jew, and
Albigensian culled from the flock, hoods
over their heads, tipped upside down, bloated
by specialists forbidden to draw blood
but lacking no inspiration. Slay all,
the legates told them. God will know His own.

Purebred in Barking Collar

What can I say of the neighbors who don't
feed their dog, allow him to sleep on my
porch day after day, night after night, as
if he lived here? When I don't leave water,
he doesn't drink. In the morning, the first
sound I hear is him whining for food on
the other side of kitchen storm, just
yards from his own front door. Shall I tell him
once he couldn't have counted on me, love
a noose slipped on my neck or ankle which
I always escaped? Bifurcated roles
and a medium life were all I thought
possible, purebred in barking collar.

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