9 May 2008 | Vol. 8, No. 2

Driving back into the city

Here's what I'm trying to say: The deer coming toward us through the dark

      and we're unable to see them

The car passing over the bridge into the maw of the city like a willing moth

      suddenly wrapped in fire

The cabs rushing downtown like yellow-winged beetles, bearing the beat

      of many shuddering hearts

Everything just as we left it, the skyline arching its neck on the horizon,

      still growing its spine of suckled spikes

The key slowly clicking in the lock until the door swings open to dinner plates

      stacked like scoured turtle shells

The footprints around the bed unfolding in constellations, opening patiently

      against the floor

And our thighs rocking together like two moored boats in the night,

      all those tender lights held tight in their hulls

There is only one way to say this: We move beneath the moon toward

      something other than ourselves—

Never knowing the eyes that bloom around us, only these words holding up

      the thin air we breathe

About the author:

Keetje Kuipers has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Oregon Literary Arts, and SoapStone. She was the recipient of the 2007 Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency, as well as the second place winner of the 2007 Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry. Her poems are currently published or forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, West Branch, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Willow Springs, among others. You can hear her read her work at the online audio archive From the Fishouse.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Keetje Kuipers at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 8, No. 2, where "Driving back into the city" ran on May 9, 2008. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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