Nicole Flaherty Kimball


Firstly, I am not aroused. I am not even naked, or missing a shoe. I am not the way a resurgence tastes after baring a grave. I am not always a person, or the running of the river–divided through the land and the morning.  White hot ash rides the Earth. A self-important figure rises from the interstice and gives us grains. We take this into our own two hands; it becomes fine through the eye of coarse twine. Oceans lay like creeks, but only at the edge. Only at the precipice of a warm birth. We are brief. I am not weak, I do not swim in nectar. The delicious sap of the mango cannot understand the meaning of tree. Nor the fleshy boundlessness of the seed, recreating soil to seedling to ivory-green leaves. There are mirrors carrying the sky making us, gone as the rain swept over. I am  not a mother because I overcame the shrew, or the tiny man inside the Ungodly box. Porcelain slumbers on the pink skin of midsummer’s peach as I drench myself in some kind of peace, making language out of the divine. Secondly, I am woman. I am a being, I limn the arch of this brevity. My body is only the carrier of an infinite beating. I am the mother of water, of small anger, of wooden oaks and the woods–thumping, puttering, wicked sound: Can’t you hear that rapture? That oohing and cooing? That deep queenly fire calling up and out through my throat?


There Is the Ear

cleaved off the young brain and scalp— separated from moist mouth. Sounds like courage slapping on floor. Move up; deceased sponge whirring rosemary and thyme over the head, all of life poured into the space occupied by force. All of the body, meaning corrupt—sad— infinite beauty at the dips of the feet and coiled snake learning to jump. Out, over, overcoming the linear progression of time. The palms being old with lines. The face having divots filled with glass and the earlier word sandstone. The skin to melt away and embody the fluid river.  The bowel and womb married in addictive fungus; endometriosis and still no children to bear. Birdlime smeared like bush meat across the chest as a woman is told how to attract a man. Toes somehow connect to the pituitary gland, contracting in newish light. All the while the mind inside, spending half the life unconvinced of the purple body’s meaning. The bruised part of the body unconvinced of the mind’s privilege. An exemption from the physical world but even greater the value of the shaking organs long—long after the lungs choke on water and affix to breathless sleep. 

Nicole Flaherty Kimball is an emerging poet from Salt Lake City. Nicole’s work is published or forthcoming in Sky Island Journal, Sunspot Literary Journal, Mom Egg Review, as well as several other journals.  She was the recipient of the Pat Richards and Joe Beaumont Scholarship, and is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree at Utah Valley University.

A Song for Nicole

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