Poetry - Issue 20 | May 2014

Two Poems by Kassandra Montag


A Brief Dialectic in Cobh, Ireland

        Knowing not grieving remembers a thousand savage and lonely streets.
        William Faulkner, Light in August

Grief is the riverfront
with the long leg
that I have walked
many times,
watching birds and their curious
necks.
But knowledge is not that sort
of water.

Two sisters play in the shallows,
away from undercurrents,
their tan skin ripe fruit.

My bones are tired.
I remind myself
to dress in the morning;
I choose solid, quiet
colors.

When I enter the flower
garden at home
I set the head
of a magnolia blossom
on the pond’s still surface.

The blossom holds its position,
ivory in the sunlight,
a photograph of a dead face.
I would hang it on my wall
so it could watch everything
and know the stillness—

mornings in the kitchen
when dawn and I do not move,
but breathe into the vague repeating,
the coffee and newspaper.

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About the author

Kassandra Montag has traveled to most of the contiguous United States, studied abroad in Ireland, vacationed on Grand Cayman Island, volunteered in Haiti, vagabonded through Belgium, Denmark, England, Hungary, Italy, Northern Ireland, Portugal and Wales, and currently lives in Holland. Her work has been published in Midwestern Gothic, Platte Valley Review, and Prairie Schooner, among others.

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