patricia Kirkpatrick


Let the voice come through me.
Some who’ve been taken don’t want to talk.
They come out squinting, or disappear
forever. Persephone is near then.
If you’ve lived in an apartment, you know
how it sounds when someone walks overhead.

At the roof of the underworld, the self splits
where flowers rise on stems that thrust themselves
above . . . grassland floor. They say a victim often flies
to the ceiling. I don’t think she leaves her body
so much as escapes to a place she thinks closer
to where someone might save her. And the campion,
switchgrass: Aren’t the fields changed by what happened?
The earth, like the brain, lies in layers.