“I Have Just Kissed You” by Susan Alkaitis

Susan Alkaitis


Now, rubber ducks fan out
by the thousands
into the river.

I am overwhelmed. Not to change
anybody’s mind

but there is a choice: plunge in,

swim out,
make a broad net
of my body,

begin collecting the debris,
trapping ducks
in my floating clothing.
Stuff them
into my pockets

or sit on the shore
admiring the sky,

waiting for you.

from Rattle #54, Winter 2016


Susan Alkaitis: “I’ve noticed that when I read a great poem, I feel a touch of vertigo. I thought it was nausea, but it could be that I hold my breath when a poem begins crossing over into something immense or transcendent. Reading poetry is a rush that way. The acute attentiveness regarding what is happening around you and then the smash and edit of writing can be equally exciting. And I am not sure what I love the most, the pure fun of working with the words or actually coercing people to read them.”

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