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Kate Hubbard

The End of Something is Not Nothing

 

All I had to do: cross my eyes, unline

the composition book, strip the horizon

of its ink, and imagine you. I have

never licked salt from you like the deer

skirting the edge of my grandmother's orchard

on spindle legs. Tentative tongues lapping,

necks craned, they strain against the split rail fence.

Amidst the buzz of honey and the lips

of lady’s slipper, they savor the saline,

suddenly transformed away from their own desire.

Deceptive as the dollar store bars

of Ivory soap dangling from arthritic

branches, I know you taste like the sweet

bitter of windfall apples.

 

 

Small Dignities Beside the Gulf Station

 

Out of the heaving darkness, lit in the graceful passing of headlights; a wayside shrine. There, a raccoon sweet-faced as if sleeping. Her aspect pressed towards the heavens, she was swaddled in a teal and white striped towel.

 

Terry cloth so bright in the before dawn, the grass around her sprung glaring green. This was not an oil rag. This was not an old dish towel or shoddy beach blanket. She was shrouded straight from the linen closet.

 

Such small dignities rarely exist beside the Gulf station. The grounds spangled with broken bottles and discarded lottery tickets.

 

I think of her dark lashes resting on her cheeks. I think of her small black hands folded and her children now hopeful foundlings. I wonder if she got to gaze up at the moon through the maple leaves at least once.

 


Black Dwarf

 

Orion is just lying above the horizon. I’m tracing his belt

with my finger when you say you’re amazed,

all the stars still smoldering but already fallen.

We were unprepared for how quickly after dinner turns into dark.

We’re herding children and bikes through the night.

For an instant, my hand catches on yours,

a quick embarrassment. Parting at the corner,

we do not say goodbye. In the illuminated shadow boxes

of our homes, scenes of life in every window,

rich and contoured like the waning face of the moon,

the future will never come.


 

Kate Hubbard has been previously published in Thema, Alehouse, The Prague Revue, and 5AM and has work forthcoming in the New Ohio Review. She has an MFA in poetry from New England College and currently teaches creative writing to children in East Haven, CT where she lives with her family.




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