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

The Towns

In Gainesville once, we took a bus across town
to visit Rebel’s brother
and played in the fenced back yard
till it was time to go home.
A flood took my shoe, we were stranded
in a parking lot till the rain stopped.
Another day, we drove away
from the hurricane.
In Kearney, the President died.
A fireman came to the door
because my brother was playing with matches.
There was a blizzard.
We drove into the baseball field.
In Bloomington, the house was made of stucco,
just like the little green store in Gainesville.
I could not remember the piano song I had learned in Kearney.
On Linden Street road, in the blur between
two townships,
a man walked on the moon.
I stood under it and watched his shadow.
Raccoons built a nest in a tree.
Wind changed the shape of everything, cedars streaming north.
In London, I wrote letters,
classmates beat upon my back,
I made a cake wrapped in marzipan.
We ate slices of coconut on the street in Paris.
In Zurich, the water was clean.
We walked through the Olympic village,
Germany still a mystery.
Florence, the golden doors.
Murano, the blown glass.
Water took us there.
Then we came home, and I never wanted to leave.
Mabel is buried in Hudson.
Polly is buried in Leroy.

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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