from The Dottery
Dotter, you’re the favorite. This, at the wedding, her ushered down to her minimum, an aged baroque. She was not heavy, this was not strip-mining, and there was more. We will love you glue. We will love you corset. We will love you hooved and harangued and lacking gloves. It was not her glory that was for sale. Shamed, she would have let it go at basement. Because. Look what you have not done. Lined up tall to short since homecoming—things pinned coming after things bled dry. Well, this was to be accepted. In their day, nuns hadn’t managed to get under her skort. Nevertheless, she was by the end blinking. Tail-lit. A car accident, mangle and windshield and sunglass. This was not her matinee. These were not her ovaries. She willed a bump to black. Went up in sacrifice to startle the catwalk. Sandbagged sweetly in a gobo—a ferny one. The cyc was blue.
from The Dottery
Has a dotter. She does. Some do. Unlike some, it is not a disease, a dotter. It is not by proxy. Diabetic. She is in the bed with her. It is natural, a symbol of love. To be in the bed. Some distrust this way with the dotter. Foreign-hand. Dropsy. Dottering on the lea. These some, they are outside. Hurt you, Mommy. Hurt you. To the buoys you say, just, just the ones talking trash. Away the big conundrums. Mommy will rhythm or raven the outside from you. Meanwhile, a mommy raises in vigilance, beats the keep. You say, no hurt. Nun. But to a dotter lies are told on or below the level of bone. The way the infant is held. Restrained aversion. Some casual fingernails only, skin so like invitation. Better for a mutter to show her how hurt is dealt with, and after awhile—maintained.
Kirsten Kashock’s first book of poetry, Unfathoms, is available from Slope Editions, and another is upcoming from Ahsahta Press. She is currently a Ph.D. student in dance at Temple University. Other poems from The Dottery have been published, or accepted for publication in the following journals: American Letters & Commentary, Jubilat, Denver Quarterly, Typo, Coconut, Columbia Poetry Review, CutBank, Sentence, and Lit.