Stacie Leatherman new work published by Kelsey Street yummy

New work from Stacie Leatherman.


We’re revised as we speak.

To attune.

Kitsch, of course. Kites and high-flying plutocracies.

The body’s lace its organs the child beating within.

It lifts like a sunburn and I am borne into it.

The finesse of loving, as if relationships could be held in tow.

The long sidewalks to hell and back,

straight and smooth as a syringe.

And where someone or the self pulls us off,

a light wave, a frequency.

The process of something we once knew.

Your lowing cattling us through the night.

You find the trails strong as any writing.

Iron horsed,

the bad luck fruition,

the clustering, the badlands,

ribbon fish, you glide through like a transition,

your body sliced more than half your length,

a cut thread, swimming.


The dead over under us, at eye level.

I refuse to discuss in separations. I am not my own language utterly.

Doors and wounds, disappearances, returns.

Reliance on hands, mind, teeth.


The drifting backwards into disrepair,

the unclotting, the swift dislocation.

The swifter we go.

Drift of continents and islands.

Words threshed, chaff from grain.

Updraft, uprising.

Words catching in the backdraft.


If a collision, or elision, or what has clapped silently above me.

The knots tying it together.

Spring flowers dusting ditches and roads,

you walk,

cottonwood blowing like the sifted alphabet,

the approach of solstice.

Light as the waiting and receiving.

The kissing words backwards until they have breath.

Until a flock breaking upwards in flight,

the sky breathing, insistence of motion and intent and wandering.

Seeds scattering, a spume,

an umbrella of sparks.


The signing of the entire body,

the circular motions.

Your body’s lamplight.

The last time is not the last time.


There is the painful retaliation.

The crosshairs.

The splitting of,

the close shave.


Lightning a savage crop,

fierce as your broken heart.

Inchworm inching across my arm,


the crashing and impetuosity.

Slouch erected straight as a wave curling over,

the origami of moments,

beach gored with light.

The unknown more intimate,

under the finger in the lung.

Stacie Leatherman’s first collection of poems, Stranger Air, will be published by Mayapple Press in early 2011. Work is forthcoming or has recently appeared in New American Writing, Indiana Review, Barrow Street, Diagram, and Crazyhorse, among others. She has an MFA in Poetry from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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