“Intersection” by Kerrin McCadden

Kerrin McCadden


At the four-way stop I wave you on,
a kindness. You wave no no, you go. I wave, go.
We keep on. You insist. Me: no you,
please. A bird shifts, a sigh. The penned
horse tosses, pacing. I mouth you go.
There is a fleck on your windshield. I notice your hands.
Rain falls. Your hands cup the wheel
at ten o’clock and two, then float
past my knee and only sometimes land.
One hundred times on my back, they tame me.
Cars line up. Birds lift. I nod my head into your chest.
There is a trail of clothing. I walk to the
plank door of your room. This takes hours
and hours. This is a small cottage and there is sand
on the floor and nothing on the walls, crows calling,
dishes in the sink. Days go by. We are still making
our way to the bed. This is an inventory:
black telephone, board games, frayed chairs,
coffee table spotted with the old moons of drinks,
curtains pulled back on tiny hooks, single pane glass
windows like the ones I used to sneak out of at night, lifting
them as slow as this stepping, and when you talk
into my neck the words settle in the hammock
of my collarbone, puddle there and spill,
slide over my breasts and I am slowly covered,
and rinsed. I do not close my eyes. Nothing hurts.
The dust rises in swirls. Dogs bark. You turn
your windshield wipers on intermittent.
Your car rolls into the space I have built between us.
I am up to my belly in a northern lake, cold. I am afraid now.
When I get home, everyone will see.

from Rattle #32, Winter 2009


Kerrin McCadden: “I really like water, and birds—especially the Winooski River and swallows. I like to be the one who starts applause. I have recently learned to love olives. I love dailiness, hydrangea, old words and incongruous things, including a poodle. I write poems because they let me have everything I want, and words are better than yarn. Syntax, diction: knit, purl. And because a poem is an impossible thing, unlike a sweater. My evil twin is likely in one of my classes, and so I teach.” (web)

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