Wedding Party

Such a letter of human history,        a song and
the whole town                      singing.

The bride        is luxury
                and utility she is

the synonym              of sex.
She aspires to want        nothing

not a window or tower       not paintbrushes
not a slip bolt-         lock. She is newly

indulgent: I had red hair and            what
was I going to do with that?

sacred.               To marry is twin and
tangle.          A clear plastic bubble cups

each pill                 hormones suspend
                        further mystery.

In this               city it rains even
            in the hallways

of fine hotels.                      She thought
she'd move toward

the skyline
      some inevitable next.




Off at the Hinges

Blue in this light, trees
go sky wild, are good
enough. An odd illness
out of season. Stay

at the edge of the day. Will
have to do. The corner
pine drained of sap, handfuls
of grass; yesterday

forgotten. If you're like her
you some days wake to a mirage
of suburban lawn girls, kaleidoscopic
sprinklers' turn and tick. The door

is off at the hinges and she
won't do a thing about it. Not
just now
is a remedy; come
on in before the streetlights

thing else. Voice, bluster and
hitch, can't find its objective.
Name it. Better than her
handful of blades. What

she leans into. Not
the unspecified apprehension,
its muddy taste. No.
The shadow that locates her.

Nancy Kuhl's chapbook, In the Arbor, was winner of the Wick Poetry Chapbook Prize and was published by Kent State University Press. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Verse, Fence, Phoebe, Puerto del Sol, Cream City Review, The Journal, and other magazines. She is co-editor of Phylum Press, an independent publisher of innovative poetry. She is the Assistant Curator of the Yale Collection of American Literature at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.