Two Poems//Kimberly Ann Southwick
“Be sure your sin will find you out” –NJ Billboard
draw me a picture of a woman,
a woman who has only recently discovered that she is a woman.
she is holding two guns, one in each hand,
each arm forming a right angle with the line of her body,
except perhaps the slight hint of an elbow bend
in the left arm. her left.
draw her from behind, the hint of her profile
peeking at you as she looks to her right
where a gloomy tree takes up the right of the page.
the other gun, the one whose barrel she does not peer down,
is pointed at a whale, a humpback whale, etched black
in your pen and ink on printer paper.
don’t ask me if the whale is underwater or alive or
dead or spouting its spout into the white of the page—
just draw me a picture.
she should be dressed, I guess, like me, but not
overdressed. not in one of my dresses,
but a skirt and maybe a shirt that doesn’t match well,
maybe too-big earrings and shoes I wouldn’t hate,
not heels, though. don’t dress her like someone
who would hold two guns with such confidence, necessarily.
you will be able to tell by how she stands
that she is sure of something,
but you cannot see the expression on her face.
Unintentional indirect object
walk me soft, step the stones, every crystal a catalyst—every grain of salt an answer.
teach them the stories, a house built & built up. story a future, first. then breathe.
when I let him come inside me, I consider this:
when consequence is an expectation not a fear,
what is there left to fear—
the sound of the vent maybe
the alarm in the morning—
either might do the trick.
newspaper stories or really internet articles say women
earn less than men per dollar, same job. they say
men perceive time differently
& they don’t mean existentially.
when i was fifteen, i wrote a poem in french,
every line beginning with je voudrais. i wanted
a bookshelf reachable from a claw-foot bathtub. i wanted
those un-see-through-able windows that let in blurry light. i wanted
something with big arms and a diamond in the rough story to sleep next to me
maybe wrap those arms around me. i found a word for all of it
start me over. mystery a since
that’s sincere, whispers in the ear.
swallow the formula. forming the foam, skim
the surface of the milkbed and try to sleep. promise
every day not to read one page further in a dead
poet’s diary unless
you can picture her alive.
Kimberly Ann Southwick is the founder and editor in chief of Gigantic Sequins. She has a chapbook of poetry out currently with dancing girl press and another, efs and vees, forthcoming from Hyacinth Girl Press, in which the poem “the impossibles” will appear. Visit her online at kimberlyannsouthwick.com & on twitter: @kimannjosouth.