Poetry: Kin by Sarah Pape

Believe me, we erupt from split roads
and waterways, from truck bed

and rivet. Born under the upturned. Borrowed
from blackberries, bush-warm.

The earliest places scooped from placental
chicken shit, ghosts in the dust-riled hose spray.

I thought you might be home. Built from fish
scales and plucked dart boards, margarine,

National Geographic spines. Might’ve split
your dollars for penny candy

in brown paper, rotisserie chicken and pickled
pig’s feet. Did you know the mud-skirted

boards, cracked heels, and softened blacktop?
Were you there snapping geranium stalks,

turning green thorns into scissors? Before
all of this, I had a daddy in corduroys,

strung up and river-caught.
I circled like river sediment, shallow

in the pan till gold shone through. Maybe you
were born at the bottom of something too.

Sarah Pape teaches English and works as the Managing Editor of Watershed Review at Chico State. Her poetry and prose has recently been published or is forthcoming in The New York Times, New England Review, Passages North, Ecotone, Crab Orchard Review, The Pinch, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and others. Her chapbook, Ruination Atlas, was published by dancing girl press. She curates community literary programming at the 1078 Gallery and is a member of the Community of Writers. Check out her website for more: http://www.sarahpape.com.

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