Polaroid of How to Get Along with Everyone You Hate
I tell you the city that I once lived in,
that we live in together,
I hate and always will—
and you compare it to another city
in the same region, miles away,
how you were miserable there
how you undulate consequences
but what you don’t understand
is that these two feelings + places
are not the same. What you don’t
understand is how everyone
eventually leads themselves out
of the hospital gown and into
a certain light from a window
in a reading chair with a cat that has
a name no one has ever named
their cat before.
What you don’t understand is
between these two cities my timeline
begins, between these two cities
the uneven strings of my hospital gown
are wrapped around me twice.
The silent room where the after-hours
of labor result in the birth-null. What more
than quiet in a body of water, in a birth-plan.
What more than in absentia.
Katie Jean Shinkle is the author of one novel, Our Prayers After the Fire (Blue Square Press, forthcoming), and four chapbooks, most recently There Are So Many Things That Beg You For Love (Patasola Press, forthcoming). She is the Associate Editor of the Denver Quarterly and an Assistant Poetry Editor for DIAGRAM