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.

Listen:

Author Image

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.

Photo Courtesy of Shannon Conrad

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