KIMBERLY KRUGE is a poet and translator based in Mexico. She is a lifelong poet; her first publication appeared in an anthology of children’s poetry, and she began to be awarded for her work as an adolescent. Her recent publications include poems in either English or Spanish in the following reviews: The Wisconsin Review, The Briar Cliff Review, Luvina, Precog and Two Thirds North. Her poem ‘The Rains’ was featured earlier this year as the ‘Poem of the Week’ at The Missouri Review. Her co-translations of baroque sonnets from Spanish can be found in the current issue of Riot of Perfume. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Dartmouth College and an M.F.A. in Poetry from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. kimberlykruge.com.
LAUREN POPE is pursuing a Creative Writing PhD at the University of Edinburgh where she organises summer courses in Creative Writing and British Literature. Her poetry has appeared in various print and online publications including Etchings, Gutter, Magma and The Stockholm Review of Literature. She has recently been selected as one of Eyewear Publishing’s Best New British and Irish Poets 2017.
There are Selves that Cannot Love
For example, this self that is writing now.
This self is too self-conscious to love.
This self reaches into darkness,
expecting it will return full of something to inspect.
But, this self is tired of inspection
and the requisite letting go after inspection.
This self prefers to wash its hands of itself.
This self already knows the measure of the streets it follows.
This self turns where it should without thinking.
This self thinks it understands what it reads
and that it knows a thing or two
But another self—that self that loves you—
what does it know—
vigorous as a bloom emerging out of season,
blind enough to think fruit will be made of its existence.
And sometimes, the self that can love does survive,
becomes the plant that climbs the walls,
becomes the hands that tame it.
After so much humanity, there is then no trace.
At the end of the bus-line and past
the sections of the city separated by streets
named hope, independence, and equality, cuts in
the astounding presence of green, of the hawk,
of the impossibly small birds that do not get lost.
Between its two steep sides,
the river runs hungrily towards its non-destinations,
passing them again and again without pausing.
The river knows the futility of thinking
it has reached an end. It knows this thinking is the end.
We went there to get out of our selves,
to be terrified into our smallness.
We went there to see what others had seen there
that made them leave their names,
that made them build an iron cross and its Christ
elevating from it, arms open, reaching for humanity.
Designs on a Sidewalk
black vein moulding,
Chalk scratch hop.
in lichen blood,
On the mornings when he wakes
with a different woman’s hand
clapped between his thighs –
like the trapped curled paw of a hare
inveigled by the earth’s false teeth –
he feels for its weight, imagines
the ripple each hand might create
if skipped into a pool of water like a stone,
the way the nails peck like tiny bird beaks
at his skin, and the pauses in between the pecking,
the slick of lacquer that screams a colour
he strains to remember from the night before.
I watch for men like him, leave my mark
like the singed thumbprint of a saint.
All works published by the Glasgow Review of Books are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and the journal reserves the right to be named as place of first publication in any citation. Copyright remains with the poet. http://www.glasgowreviewofbooks.com