casts the trees, yet
continues to ask
where have you been?
in a system of knowing
ancient a brain of spindle finger,
In-between branches light shifts,
then over your face
I wonder when language left me,
when I forgot how to spell your name,
to remind myself the curves
of an -a versus -y, an ending of -la
feminine, how dare you.
The pine says, flex and you shall receive,
on my knees I open my mouth
and my tongue reacts.
attempt to retrieve
the pines shake
awake the empty bedroom
shadow tongues the walls,
there it is: the way day calls to you.
Katie Jean Shinkle is the author of four novellas and six chapbooks, most recently None of This is an Invitation (w/Jessica Alexander, Astrophil Press, forthcoming) and Will You Kiss Me Goodnight? (The Offending Adam, forthcoming). She is a 2021 poetry fellow at Lambda Literary Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices, serves as co-poetry editor of DIAGRAM and creative nonfiction editor of the Texas Review, and is an Assistant Professor at Sam Houston State University where she teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing program.
the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan