Kate Gaskin: "The Weight of It"




A late summer peach,

          the baby on my chest,

his mewling cry,


          and I

in the grass at dusk

          lying pinned to the lawn


like moth wings

          to a board,

how the ground


          claims some eggs and not

others, the way

          all matter settles


into the finest cracks, snow

          in even the ocean’s

black canyons,


          how a slab

of meat slaps the counter,

          the thud


of a fallen book, a deadline

          on my chest, two bodies

fitting their pieces together


          in the dark, the cat

in a box

          all sealed up on my lap,


a plume of smoke

          issuing from the ghost

of a house, small eddies


          of ash whirling

along the ground, how I rise

          shrugging up


from the ether

          of sleep, my heart

like a killing jar


          bound by muscle,

a handful

          of beetles clicking inside.


Kate Gaskin's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Tar River Poetry, Cherry Tree, Turtle Island Quarterly, and The Southeast Review Online, among others.