Kimberly Kruge Apology

Sometimes I forget where I am.

I go as far as the patio and hear
three dogs wailing into the night.
Dogs that still have ardor in them. I see
shadows that fold into the honey of dirt
and its fruits being molded into shapes.
The silver tooth of some sister somewhere.
Someone, somewhere, not dying.

A town on the horizon lights
the neon disquiet of its church’s cross.
A junction of blood and passion,
ardor and damnation. Someone waits
for the cows to come home. They do.
Some sister reclines content,
the food gone cold. Content like we do.

I mean this: I could taste the tongues
of the agave pointing up through the earth.
I could feel the spines
of renegade paperbacks
folding in every deranged corner
from here to el D.F. I saw ardor.
I could touch ardor. I could know that it
was what made the plaster separate
from the patio wall and what made
the brick beneath into that strong cage.

And then I had an idea. A dark fantasy:
a couple argues over nothing just before a great quake.
They retreat into their corners:
one on the patio, the other in bed.
The bedroom collapses. The patio survives.
Over nothing.
Can you believe it? Over nothing.

I swear this: I could feel my hand burned
by the interior of the bell hot
with so many sung songs. I could see Jupiter.
The beacon of a vessel. The North Star.
I could hear a memorial march, a siren,
a tinkling game, and the growing of
the neighbors’ baby’s bones.

I went to you. My country a disaster.
The house held up by ardor.

Kimberly Kruge is the author of the chapbook High-Land Sub-Tropic, which won the 2017 Center for Book Arts Prize. Her other manuscripts have recently been finalists or semi-finalists for 7 more book prizes. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, The Iowa Review, Copper Nickel, The Missouri Review, The Massachusetts Review, and others. Her translations have appeared or are forthcoming in Riot of Perfume, Luvina, and Precogmag. She is a graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for writers and the recipient of a residency at the Millay Colony for the Arts. She is the founder of Comala Haven, a retreat and workshop in Mexico for women writers. She lives and works in Guadalajara, Mexico.