stick of burning sun

Kathleen Hellen is the author of The Only Country was the Color of My Skin, the award-winning collection Umberto’s Night, and two chapbooks, The Girl Who Loved Mothra and Pentimento. Featured on Poetry Daily, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Letters and Commentary, Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, The Massachusetts Review, New Letters, North American Review, Poetry East, and West Branch, among others. Hellen has won the Thomas Merton poetry prize and prizes from the H.O.W. Journal and Washington Square Review, as well as awards from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts.


stick of burning sun

there’s a trick to this forgiveness—
the murder that we firsted

the bow
the buffalo
the improvised position

we can’t unthink the cold but
we can think

the fire

the crow through smoke
once white as snow

the burnt-black feathers
rallying

how to dance
white necked
with beak and claw

how to dig
the hole

to fit the corpse
the many corpses

a parable
of grain the worse for rain

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