h o m e........
p a s t   i s s u e s....
s u b m i s s i o n s....
l i n k s





why do you go through the world looking for enemies
why do you choose the confessional mode

                 she said she came for a film about horses
i asked if she meant that, i asked her softly, i asked with my mouth
by her ear

perhaps today i will go out wearing my beautiful face
perhaps today i will go out with a box of free and breakable things.

perhaps i will wear a surgical mask
perhaps it will rain.

i’m going to buy myself a raincoat for christmas
it speaks to me so sweetly and comes dressed like a friend

it squeaks when i twist it,
i find that i like it
find it soothing
            i keep waiting
for the surface of the water to become legible
i have been here
                                                                              for a while

 and she says                  ((no))                         so frankly.




i have thick luscious skin like a seal, i am become      
            every piece of advice i have ever received. i am a warm
golden hush

                                                            puppy, i melt in the mouth after
                        a kind of initial resistance, i am conditioned
                                                                                    for user comfort:

my mother told me to be like a lady. i am a lady. i file my teeth.
i avoid the clichés of feral resistance, i lean into the pictorial turn—the picture

is female:

i am gamine in my long, long legs. i am withdrawn, i am a secret. everything carries
its future within it.
            i am a mirror. i am the condition
                                    that you look. i give you back
                        your photons, enhanced.
i am your soft
                                                            sleek dream. i am independent. i contradiction.
            i am fetish, a mean little totem. i carry a weathered tote on the week-ends.

i read feminist literature. i am fluid gender. i am surprise.
            i cut my teeth on surprise. i am studied. i am every calculated wonder.
            i am exactly
what the focus group ordered, i’ve got

a taste for summer lawn, and the cherry pleasure of a sprinkler
a cheer chandelier in the blasting light at noon:
i’ve got all the cards for a deck and the cool pool stink of plastic, ineffably
gardenhose green, i’ve got all these things in my humid glass:

i’ve no bone to pick with the immaculate.

a dog snarls its spitty snarl behind a white fence. we clink our humid glasses
our pink champagne like a blended swirl of bloody drool:
we clink our glasses by the pool.




BIO: Kirsten Ihns is a first year MFA candidate in poetry at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her reviews and poems have appeared previously or are forthcoming in The Offing, BOAAT journal, SHARKPACK Poetry Review, The Midwesterner, and Euphony Journal.


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