The girl in the feather skirt gets tired of waiting for her story to start. When would the mushroomy underside of the moon explode? Darling, she writes, I’ve sold your clothes. She loves the slash and glister of her pen. By the time you read this, my ship will be en route. Here on board, gold-tasseled tablecloths sway. Petal by petal, an inchworm crosses the centerpiece of lilies and phlox. The galley door swings, dishes clink, a kettle hisses. Sometimes she strokes the cricket in her pocket for luck. Here on board, staircases unfold into silken dark and tenderness begins at its regularly scheduled time, nothing like a coin purse snapped closed. Snowflakes fall like whispers and someone keeps shaking the globe.
Kathleen McGookey has published three books of poems, most recently Heart in a Jar (White Pine Press). Her work has appeared in journals including Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Epoch, Field, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, and Quarterly West. She has received grants from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Sustainable Arts Foundation.