Kate Lucas






Poem in Which Loneliness Again Figures Prominently

Kate Lucas

alongside an unsent letter an uncut book a dusty bottle deep
in the cellar a storm cloud that holds and drifts a sneeze suspended
since solitude is one thing I am good at and fear a fierce guard
its deep growl and thick neck pushing hard against the gate
since there may be a man and a fiddle lilting sweet and dizzying
with a sheen of sepia but really a decoy besides
some have always been called to seclusion or resigned
so I must be one home for dead letters and old wine
my guard dog ramming against the chain-link my great
ungenerous cloud overhead my parched and shriveling
fruit trees but still I want to set the mutt loose
to seed the cloud to flatten the house to to to
oh oh but what would this poem be without the moldering
love notes the yellowing tomes the runt tangerines?

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Epigenetics (Or, Ancient Woods of My Blood)

Color of my great-great-great-grandma’s girlhood nightgown.
Name of her favorite cow. Sound that cow made
when setting eyes on her. Growl of a stomach
muffled under heavy quilts, breath plumes overhead.
First sip of coffee in the morning dark, radiant heat
of a wood stove. Pathways our blood follows
through the vein maze, a set pace—rabbit flash,
cow ambling away. Times the beat slows,
ear meets a warm chest, hears
the pulse of another. Enters the woods:
tangle of branches, rocks grounded and half-buried,
felled trees, fat and loose, riot of worms and beetles,
new life in rot. His, deep sigh of pine needles.
Yawning hush in falling snow. Thick heat
and deafening crickets, unfurling fiddleheads,
fat iris tongues. Round bellies and ripe berries
and wolves in heat. Hers, crash of ice water. Gale force,
waves slapping the face, filling lungs. Gusts bending no
snapping branches, buckling torsos. Sun blistering
skin. Berries falling uneaten to the forest floor.



Kate Lucas writes for hire and teaches poetry, writing, and yoga in Minneapolis. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Copper Nickel, The Pinch, LUMINA, 111O, Midway Journal, and other journals. A former assistant poetry editor for Water~Stone Review, Kate is the recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, a New Writer Award from Sequestrum, and a Loft Mentor Series Award in Poetry. She has held residencies at Dickinson House and Pine Needles of the Science Museum of Minnesota. You can find her at katemlucas.com and tweeting at @katemlucas.