Poetry - Issue 20 | May 2014

Two poems by Kim Suttell


My Shoes Betray Me

I wear a plainly embroidered blouse.
The skirt I bought at the tram-stop newsstand.

I bought shampoo there, too.
The bag for peppers

is the same one they all use.
I paid five stotinki.

And my first-world status
doesn’t extend for me

the limited choice of cheese.
I share a layer of coal soot

with everyone else,
men with coffee, stray dogs.

The half-assembled cityscape
crumbles under construction.

in no aspect is newness
or selection apparent

except in my shoes.  I think
if I stay mute I might be part

of what is not noticed—
absent plaster, missing banisters,

pilfered grates, and effort.
In my life, I will never

have to try so hard.
The dull curry-curdle color

painting every other structure
pains to be sunny.

The café strains for comfort
with two menu items.

Little girls bear up
under assiduous ribbons.

I wear easiness not washed out
even in the same caustic detergent.

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About the author

Kim Suttell, born in California, has crisscrossed the USA many times and landed in New York City. She is a returned Peace Corps volunteer and makes regular visits back to Central and Eastern Europe. She has published in The Cortland Review, Geist, and Right Hand Pointing. You can see more of her work here.

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