Holy Fright

Plenty of things just like this
have dark origins woven into what

we call modern world but is
just world darkened into itself

as way of navigation, as those
without eyes would be hindered

by the introduction of eyes,
save those things, save what

solvency can survive detection,
for three whole days I believed

I was a spider on the shower
corner wall, blind to everything

but moisture, it was a web of
nightmare but still I felt thirsty

Dust on the Banjo

I met Larry at the bear check station
this morning so the state could measure

his bear. Larry seemed proud when I saw him
but in a strange way. I’m not sure what

type of pride accompanies killing a bear,
but I imagine that it’s strange as all pride is

and if stranger it isn’t by much. Anyway,
Larry seemed deflated by the measurements

as his bear was smaller than he thought.
Of course anything killed is naturally imagined

as larger. Every spider I’ve killed
was at least the size of my hand judging by

the reports I’ve given. Did you have fun?
I asked him. Yes, he said, but it isn’t

all about fun. What is it all about, then?
I don’t know, he said, and watching his face

that moment was exactly like watching
a spider caught frantic in water headed

down shower walls to the drain
and for the rest of the day I saw nothing

but the dark network of water pipes
when I happened to look upon him.

Front Steps

Mona had a secret she told the whole town
in the course of one single tuesday though in her defense

it was a unique kind of tuesday, seemed more quiet,
seemed in need of extraneous words, Mona told me

the secret after she had told 43 people but before
she had told 137, which accounts for the whole town

if you don’t count the babies or anyone under 20 really,
though they will be sure to learn this secret someday

when the hunger for it revs up again and Mona is finally
very old though somehow thought she never would be,

and it might be a thursday or sunday, a little later
in the week, though otherwise the same kind of day as the first.

The Iron Age

Judy said there was a night coming
that she wanted no part of, so she lit

every lantern she owned plus a few she
borrowed just in case a few went out

and though she thought at times of the
light those she borrowed from could

not access she was easily able to forget
that part of the whole thing, I went

to visit her and even though the sun
had set it felt like being on the surface

of that sun so it seemed instead
that something had gone and she had

gone along with it, I asked her if she was
hot and she said no but I saw

the evidence of sweat on the back
of her neck so I offered her

my handkerchief but this she decided
she would not choose to borrow.


Where Judy came from there weren’t
any mosquitoes or ticks, no mice or rats inside

in winter months, no spiders, serpents,
nothing to cause minor alarm, but there were

mountain lions that stalked her every move,
and at night she sensed them outside her window

whether they were there or not though most times
she was right in suspecting they were, and although

she was bitten by the smaller stuff this weekend
on a visit to my home she didn’t complain, I’m glad

to be away from the lion she told me on many
occasions in fact she mentioned this so often

that I started to imagine it had followed her here
though she had taken an airplane and even after

she left I sensed it outside for a while and in the meantime
still felt plagued by the smaller, what reward

was there for vigilance, I wondered, as I nightly carried
the leg-caught mouse outside to bludgeon.

Kate Lindroos

Kate Lindroos lives in western Massachusetts. Her chapbook, The Costume of a Hunter, is out now from Factory Hollow Press. Recent poems appear or are forthcoming in jubilat, Sixth Finch, Barrow Street, Permafrost, Cover, Big Big Wednesday, Sugar House Review, and Cosmonauts Avenue.


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