Spring 2024


By Kathleen Boyle

I went down to an inner hymn,
high wrenching and reddened.
The southwest. If not for this:
    My own skin.
A comma in a thousand towns of sin.
How endless the regretted.

from The Atlas of My Geomorphology

On the list of lost things: the tent stake, the calculator, the way down the Palisade. Rain turns to snow, cairns everywhere signal nothing: a jumble of too many, half-fallen, we’ve vanished, no vista: are we up? Down? Endlessly across snowfields I, stumbling, he, beyond my voice, postholing, then twisting, I, somersault over a waist-high rock, half-trusting, half-blinded, drenched to my bones, & losing track. Fog tight as stalagmites. When we left the summergreen meadow I swear there was no visible weather among the fourteeners, it was just one wrong turn, then another. Now we are outermost, dissolving into: is this how I die? Is that the same fork? Same cairn? Rain to snow to fog, and back again, until a ravine, the way water runs down & away. Meanwhile the continents drift without birds. Meanwhile I bargain to spare my toes.

Kathleen Boyle has recently appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals including Zyzzyva, Natural Bridge, Poet Lore, and The Seattle Review. She works as a public defender, and has recently been nominated for her first Pushcart.

Spring 2024