Think about where you have been in your life
& think about suburban America 1995–present.
Tell me more
about beheadings. Look up there,
the girl-in-the-guillotine, sword-in-sheath.
The first girl I kissed I told her I loved her,
gold blade to my throat.
I sent her more love than could fit.
Wax stamp of crest, sigil,
tattoo of initial(s), what brand
as if a town-square ritual, body-outlier,
unsolved mystery, revealed.
This is Katie Jean Shinkle’s fifth chapbook. She is an Assistant Professor in the MFA Program for Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing at Sam Houston State University. She is the author of three full-length works, most recently Ruination (Spuyten Duyvil, 2018). Her poetry, prose, and criticisms can be found in Flaunt Magazine, the Georgia Review, Denver Quarterly, New South, the Collagist, Washington Square Review, and elsewhere. She serves as associate fiction editor of ANMLY, co-poetry editor of DIAGRAM.
For money, Krista Cox is a paralegal at an environmental and insurance coverage firm. For joy, she’s an Associate Poetry Editor at Stirring: A Literary Collection and Executive Director of Lit Literary Collective, a nonprofit serving her local literary community. She serves on the board of the Feminist Humanist Alliance. Her poetry has appeared in Columbia Journal, Crab Fat Magazine, The Humanist, and elsewhere. Her internet hangout is http://kristacox.me.