Issue 6 – Summer 2004 – Nancy Kuhl

Nancy Kuhl


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 VerseFencePhoebePuerto del SolCream City ReviewThe 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.



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