Poem of the Week | August 07, 2017

This week, we are excited to present a new poem by Courtney Kampa. Kampa is from Virginia and received her MFA from Columbia University. A 2016 Ruth Lilly finalist, her book, Our Lady of Not Asking Why, was selected by Mary Szybist for the New Issues First Book Award and was released in Spring 2017.



Hip beside hip in the same bed, our window opened
                                        to a dark Virginia rain. Her ankles sticky


like they always are, our yellow hair
                              splayed like a half-threshed field, both kept awake
                 by the sound of the other


feigning sleep. Even in the dark, pretending to possess
                what we suspect the other has. Static’s blue jump


between our sleeves. Before bed we’d stood barefoot and thirsty,
                               the stovetop aching its orange rings. Two faces


scrubbed bright and raw, one with a look
                              twice her size. She’d hauled our tea bag up by its rope,


salt laced and covered with brine. Which of us is knee-deep
               in the other? Which is more than just one?


A kitchen swept of its words. And the street outside, a boy
                                         calling one of our names, or the other, or both.


Author’s Note:

When you plant trees very close together, they grow around each other, into weird, entwining shapes. Sisters are like that too.