The Secondary Disciplinarian: a monster dropped
from a husband’s dream. From rows of corn

and death and wind, he fell. Or is descended.
His inversion-face is a sieve other things

feel forced through. Instructed—I place my face into
the face of my beloved once-removed: this is

both the infidelity and punishment for it. Pressed
against this fencing emptiness, my bee-kept

lips are sluiced off. I taste what tastes like sweetbreads
(else these are judge’s thoughts) as through

the metal mesh a wet gray matter strains
to meet my basket of teeth. Exposure

is excruciation. Wanting a numb site, I imagine
a pearl-encrusted diadem, its dawnlit glint

death-woven beneath infant snow—Othellish
handkerchief of snow. We have been, we were

dreamt. What does not last.

Photo Courtesy of Shannon Conrad

Kirsten Kaschock

Kirsten Kaschock is the author of two books of poetry: Unfathoms (Slope Editions) and a beautiful name for a girl (Ahsahta Press). Her first novel, Sleight, was published by Coffee House Press in October 2011. Kirsten holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia and is currently a doctoral fellow in dance at Temple University.