Poem of the Week | December 27, 2011

This week we feature a previously unpublished poem by Kerry Carnahan. Carnahan was born in Kansas, lives in Brooklyn, and works in a converted Chiclets factory. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Ireland Review and North Dakota Quarterly.

Author’s Note:

Powerful yet fragile, characteristically temperamental, this costly instrument is said more than any other to closely approximate the sound of the human voice.


I spread my legs and drew it close.
Positioned my pinky, closed my hand.
Lifting elbows and chin I took a slow, deep breath
and from my thighs poured a sound so profound
and aching
everyone looked up as if I’d done it wrong.


When it was time to rotate, Ms. D motioned stay.
She wiped down the thin, beat-up wood with a soft cloth.
Then, taking my hand, she showed me how to rosin the bow as if
I could ever bear to hold it again.