diode v9n1



Kissing the Whisk

after Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

At first it felt like
kissing with braces
then my tongue
found the warm
caramel. We clicked,
teeth and wires.
You’re so loopy
I whispered.
Meet me tomorrow.
But in the morning
I longed for the knife
to slice hazelnuts
for granola, nosed up
the cinnamon and mace.
Whisk me away! I mocked.
I slid my finger along
the safe edge
of the knife, said
I love your cutting
wit. I was on a roll.
If you see a knife
in the road, take it.


During the Air Show, I Trembled Like the Windows

            But if the body  
were made of rings. A loose halo would emerge
 in the telluric light.
—C.D. Wright

We came home, arms full of sleeping bags,
sandy shoes, children. I clicked on
local news for background noise, saw—

paramedics wheel her out, gray vinyl
zipped over her face, reporter talking
kitchen knives, coroner who had never seen

so much blood. Someone said later
she would have hated the attention.
I didn’t get to see her, this friend

of the family who’d called, scratchy voice
and wit. Let’s have lunch. She’d just unpacked
here in Wisconsin, in her cottage

near the group home with broad trees
and wide lawn, much like her Tudor
in Cleveland Heights where my young parents

carried my brother and me to Christmas parties
of lights and sweets, cast iron acrobat that flipped
for pennies. The killers, a few years older

than my son, made Wisconsin history,
waived into adult court. That summer,
my terror bloomed and I watched for planes

to precipitate from the sky, couldn’t switch lights off,
was afraid of sleeping and sliding my hands
where I couldn’t see them, behind cushions to find toys.

Now the boys are in their 30s, so very sorry.
My daughter says if we could go back in time
to fix things, no one would be left here. From prison,

the boys tell the journalist their miserable story.
One was to be moved, away from first friends
he finally had. They just wanted to drive her car.  


Karen Schubert’s most recent chapbooks are Black Sand Beach (Kattywompus Press) and I Left My Wings on a Chair (Kent State Press), selected by Kathleen Flenniken for a Wick Poetry Center Chapbook Prize, and featured in the Best Dressed section of the Wardrobe by Sundress Publications. Her poems and interviews appear in Best American Poetry Blog, Waccamaw, PoetsArtists, The Louisville Review and American Literary Review, and her poem “Autobiography” was selected by Tony Hoagland for the William Dickey Memorial Broadside Contest. She is creative non-fiction editor for Ragazine and a founding director of Lit Youngstown.