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Fall '23

KAIT QUINN

after Lukas Bacho, Zaina Alsous, Seamus Heaney 

One night, a quarter moon cut 

       me in pieces at the palms: 

purple crescents pulled salted 

       desire from every direction, tears brined 

from the swelling. I never knew 

       breathing air could kill like drowning 

or that what once was calming can flip 

       like a coin into seasick tempest tossing. 

To think you once draped softly 

      ashore my bones like ocean foam crawling 

lazily to coast—

 

Here is the patch of desert 

      I pitched a tent on to escape the storm. 

Here are the mountains that bled you scarlet 

      from my nose. I shouldn't mistake fool's 

gold for silver linings—just because your backyard creek bed

      carries something shiny 

doesn't make you rich. One evening, the front porch light

       is a full moon calling moths 

like memories to her orbit. There is a fault line 

       that divides us, a whole continent to slice 

you from me. The horizon says the land 

       is always giving. The sun says the harvest is not for us.

Kait Quinn (she/her) was born with salt in her wounds. She flushes the sting of living by writing poetry. She is the author of four poetry collections, and her work appears in Reed Magazine, Watershed Review, Chestnut Review, and elsewhere. She received first place in the 2022 John Calvin Rezmerski Memorial Grand Prize. Kait is an Editorial Associate at Yellow Arrow Publishing and a poetry reader for Black Fox Literary Magazine. She enjoys repetition, coffee shops, tattoos, and vegan breakfast. Kait lives in Minneapolis with her partner, their regal cat, and their very polite Aussie mix. Find her at kaitquinn.com.

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