Kettle’s Cracked

by Kimberly Ann Southwick

how small can a world, how melt, how green, how stretch
the dog on the floor, closer & closer              the clock
each tick a nuance, a bronze medal                          until his nose
is wet on the rolling chair         how    small
a world                        Richard at the podium & the photographs
of Japan          make what you give thanks to, bring only reverence
to your handmade gods, of lace, of mud, & their foremothers
            summer a bark in his throat, a dream or a nightmare
            you’ll not know how small anymore a world can be
but how large how free                       stretch your legs on the hammock or couch
learn to know the lizards’
clutch of eggs, box bottom     learn to crush the clock turn it back
wake him without noise           how to leave a world that encloses
open it like a window when it’s warm, matching your breath
to a stale but otherwise impossible gold—

Kimberly Ann Southwick is an Aries with a Capricorn Moon & Ascendant. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of the literary arts journal GIGANTIC SEQUINS, which has been in print since 2009. Her current manuscript in circulation, ORCHID ALPHA, was a finalist for the 2018 Moon City Press Prize in Poetry, and her work was a finalist for the 2016 Yemassee Poetry Prize and a semi-finalist for the Beecher’s Magazine 2016 Poetry Prize. She is a PhD candidate in English with a concentration in Creative Writing at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her department has awarded her the Dr. Shelley Anne Martin award (2016–2017) for best seminar paper and Florence Jones award (2017–2018) for overall excellence. The Graduate School has awarded her the Richard G. Neiheisel & Mary B. Neiheisel Dissertation Award for 2018. Her most recently published poetry chapbook is EFS & VEES from Hyacinth Girl Press. Kimberly received her MA in English from NYU and her BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College. She lives in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana with her husband, Geoffrey, and their dogs, Jasper and Nova. She tweets at @kimannjosouth; visit her at for more.