2 July 2008 | Vol. 8, No. 2

Self-Portrait with Cockroach

Trespass is what we say

when we mean willful: a covert

footprint you leave outside

her bedroom window: when

harm's been done: an unlawful

tampering, a body marked:

what keeps you up all night

listening to the neighbor

call his cats in: oh the animals

we might choose to save, put them

on a polystyrene ark to Mars: what

we start that finishes us: the seventy-

four degree day in December:

ice-cream trucks parked outside

our tall buildings: air conditioners

buzzing: your hands sticky

with cream and sugar: the last

frozen objects on earth: our little

experiment, our vanity project

gone awry: side effects: the forced

music of your body's slapping

rhythm when it lands against

your lover: how you do love her:

your sun, your moon: your

carbon: that prison of molecules

you call flesh: an insect, a bug:

dirty light: no light at all:

a wave as well as a particle.

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 "Self-Portrait with Cockroach" ran on July 2, 2008. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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