30/30 Challenge # 2, Karen’s Pick

If you don’t have time to troll the internet looking for fresh gems by your favorite poets, well, allow me. Here is my pick for Day 2 of the 30/30 poetry challenge, a poem by Rachel McKibbens. (Check out Rachel’s website if you haven’t yet!)

If you are just hearing about 30/30, it’s a National Poetry Month challenge in which poets write 30 poems in 30 days. Since the poems are created and posted in one day (less than Project Runway!), the pieces are almost always first drafts. Also, my blog messes with the stanza breaks a bit, sorry about that!

Rachel’s new book of poems, “Pink Elephants,” on Cypher Books is setting bookshelves across the country on fire!

Into the Dark & Emptying Field

The man told the woman he could not
date her any longer. I’m sorry, he said,
but I’m afraid you love me too much.
The woman argued that this was untrue.
You’re making a mistake, she said,
I don’t even love you all the way yet.
There is a lot more love for you inside me.

The man’s face twisted in doubt.
The woman assured him that
if she stood real still, she could hear it coming,
could feel it knocking at her organs like blood piñatas.
He told her she was full of shit. That loving him
any more than she already did was impossible.

So she turned around and parted her thick brown hair,
revealing a tiny brass peephole at the base of her neck.
The man let out a gasp. Go ahead and look, she said,
I don’t mind. He took off his coat, leaned toward
the round glass portal and squinted.

The love inside her was astonishing,
too many horses to count. Clydesdales, Palominos,
Stallions and mares roaring through a field
of deep and luscious grass, their hooves crashing
against her bones as they passed the man’s
eye, thunderous and full of meaning.

He pushed the woman down to the floor
and straddled her, his desperate eye pressed hard
against the peephole. Is that all there is? he shouted,
ripping the back of her dress open. How do I get
a better view?
he begged, banging his fists
against her back. I need a closer look! he screamed,
into the dark and emptying field.

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