Kristen Case


“Two span, two span to a woman…”
                                  —Ezra Pound, Canto XLVII


Say what you want about my absent-

mindedness—we both know a capacity for vacancy

is what you came for.


The two fledgling robins beside the toppled nest

beat like bloody wet-feathered hearts.


In Spanish one can say, se me pierden las llaves

the keys lost themselves to me.


We rehearse the items

of your relentless inventory

that have lost themselves to me,

quavered silently

at the event-horizon of my reservoir of absence.


I don’t hear my own pulse in my ears

until I have seen the mother, worm in the dark hollow

of her mouth.


I can see how tired you are, your name practically

falling right off.


Don’t talk to me about measure.

You try knowing how much nothing

the body of the world can bear.


You try carrying it in your mouth.


“Nest” is from Little Arias (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2015).