Morning bangs on the door
like sadness or a man falling down
hungover halls. I wish
I were a bastard, reared on jasmine
and whistling in the bathroom,
bright as Christmas satin.
I’d rather lace, cold cream,
wallpaper with lemons, high
heels in the school’s hallway.
You wiped my cheeks with your saliva.
I am terribly sorry to tell you I have so much
of him in me. Retching and lime rind,
liver bittered. I might drink the crown
off dad’s head yet. I can’t explain
how thirst works. How it doesn’t.
Last week I fell and bruised
both knees but if I don’t kneel or look
in a mirror, I’m fine. This room is bare
and borrowed, gray with a wailing
train. In this minor light, all I see
is winter on the branches.
KAMAL E. KIMBALL is a Pushcart-nominated poet currently living in central Ohio. On the editorial team for Muzzle Magazine, her work has been published in JuxtaProse, Juked, Rattle, Phoebe, Tahoma Literary Review, Hobart, Sundog Lit, Bone Parade, Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal, Forklift Ohio, and elsewhere. She has served as a guest judge for Writers Digest and taught poetry classes at OSU, University of Cincinnati, Chase Public, and in a variety of community settings.
She is a member of the Ohio Poetry Association and completed her MFA in Poetry at The Ohio State University in 2021. She works in Communications at a local food pantry and continues to teach English coursework at the college level.
Contact her via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow her on Twitter @kamalkimball and on IG at kamal_e_kimball