The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Towns by Kathleen Kirk

Housekeeping in Downs

I used to dust the candelabra
of a house in Downs with chamois
as yellow and easy as butter, a phrase
applied to me once, as an actress
(not an agile goat). That’s all
done now, and I don’t lament
the losses, these strawberries minced
all summer in the mown grass.
August has a torque of its own,
roiling toward a storm. The gutters
revoke their duty, cracked & rusted,
paint fingernailed away
by murderous time. It’s so Shakespearean,
summer in the Midwest. It’s hard
to make a living in the arts
(or as a goat herd). I thought I could
write poems and play small parts
but these horns tip backwards.

This selection comes from the book, The Towns, available from Unicorn Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Alex DiFrancesco.

Kathleen Kirk is the author of eight poetry chapbooks, including The Towns from Unicorn Press. Her poems appear in such print and online journals as StirringRedheaded StepchildWaccamawNimrodPoetry East, and Atlanta Review. Her Patricia Dobler Award-winning poem, “Fox Collar,” is just out in Voices From the Attic. Kathleen is the poetry editor for Escape Into Life.

Alex DiFrancesco is a multi-genre writer who has published work in Tin HouseThe Washington PostPacific StandardVol. 1 Brooklyn, The New Ohio Review, Brevity and more. In 2019, they published their essay collection Psychopomps (Civil Coping Mechanisms Press) and their novel All City (Seven Stories Press), which was a finalist for the Ohioana Book Awards. Their short story collection Transmutation (Seven Stories Press) is forthcoming in 2021. They are the recipient of grants and fellowships from PEN America and Sundress Academy for the Arts. They are an assistant editor at Sundress Publications.


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