Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Kristin Stoner

After buying the first house

We drive two hours on a whim
to Omaha, in your silver C230,
taking back roads, (the only way
a farm kid knows how to travel)
30 miles over the limit to bluegrass
and the anticipation of a fresh fridge
buried somewhere among the sea
of Nebraska Furniture Mart
shiny newness and the quiet
elevator music smell of plastic
glued to metal. Already
we arrange the new old house
in our minds, while empty fields,
still wet with melting snow, fly
past our cloudy heads, black
against a blue, open sky.

Out of Iowa

I have been feeling invisible lately,
against an open prairie sky,
empty pastures,
and dreaming
of red
jagged mountains,
and thirsty succulents.

I dream of floating
in the sky, high over baking palms,
prickly pears,
over pink Spanish needles and fairy dusters.

And sometimes,
you are there
as bare as I
                      and we linger
over those scaly fruits,
                      your stamens to my pistils,
and we drink only the water from our skin
like fishhook barrels under rare rain,
unafraid of falling
or exposure
no one to see our nakedness.

We raise our browned arms to the sun,
                      the blinding, desert sky
as if in sacrifice or praise to the only thing we know:
the warmth and safety of skin on skin.

In these dreams we have no home.

2 am

In the comfort
of sixteen years
of heavy drinking
we ride open;
five bodies, loose
through humid
Iowa air, arms
out in the night,
up to street
lights and few stars
dim against a soft
Des Moines glow.
Our eyes pass silently,
over streets, Grand,
Douglas, Hickman,
and know this is home,
was, is, will be;
in the haze of heat
and vodka, we lay out
as if in surrender.

©2008 by Kristin Stoner

Kristin Stoner is an instructor of English at a Community College in Iowa. She is currently working on her MFA in Creative Writing at Antioch University Los Angeles. Her work has appeared most recently in Natural Bridge.

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