CIRCLE OF TEETH
who shall measure the heat and violence of the poet’s heart when
caught and tangled in a woman’s body?
—Virginia Woolf, “A Room of One’s Own”
come summer, mama’s home
and all shoes are off
she sets our roving borders
according to risk
and then she sets us free—
west to the tracks and east
to deep creek, no crossing blind
highway of course and no one
goes past jubilee’s.
i’m too skinny, but i’m fast
and hate to be asked
where i’m going, escaping
on my spider’s legs across
the blistering blacktop
cutting my un-calloused soles
on the rocks to the woods—
dense sentries of loblolly pines
with a thousand thin fingers to point.
summer-heated resin singes
my hair—its hot scent hangs
in the piney lunes i squeeze
through, lugging smuggled
volumes of saved-up-for sonnets
and a column of crispy saltines,
into the shaded, quiet, clicking
of insects unseen—private
orchestra of the understory, invisible
witness to my hidden weather.
alone in the family
of the fallen cones, i lay
my circle of their dark blunt
teeth, their emptied skin
paused on my palm—
let them keep their lion’s share
of light, these are my scattered
shards, falling all around me
like spells—my thin skin cools
and encircled unseen, i read
until the twilight echo of mama’s
car horn calls us home.
the tiny flare of her lit cigarette draws
its slow arc in the darkening driveway.
ABOUT THE POET
Kathleen Loe is a poet and visual artist living in Hudson, NY. She teaches poetry at the The Writers Studio, Hudson Branch. Having grown up in one house, in one small town in the deep South, a desire for change has been a big feature of her life: she has moved 32 times, and the resulting discoveries, chaos, and longing for home are at the center of her work.
ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW
We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.