Kimberly Ann Southwick


in this wood-floored room empty of furniture,
lying on the slightly deflated but mostly still firm
air mattress, I touch myself,        staring at the pocked ceiling
& you materialize before me as so many buzzing hummingbirds,
bursts of frantic colored light fracturing
into an even hungrier emptiness inside me
that I sometimes fear will never be filled
with the orbiting moons being a woman
                            promises.             wax hard gibbous,
a deep sigh. wane sharp and crescent, a high-
pitched, piercing moan.                 if you see me in a selfie
from the chest up, know my fingers are deep
inside, trying to pull from nothing the loudest noise
I can find because it won’t escape my mouth,
so quiet in its need for all these feathers.


ode to the petcock, ode to the stopcock, ode to your
butterfly handle & utility. ode to the threaded valve,
to the gross regulation of tap water, to the on-off
switch in all your fine binary wonder. ode to
not knowing the names of all the things you touch
every day, every cock, canoe, clam, every
orifice, every piece meant to plumb the depths
of every tube & hole, every metaphor not lost
on etymology & every metaphor lost. brass,
frost-proof, diamond-series, anti-siphon,
chemical- and/or vandal-resistant,
push-fit. ode to the silcock, rusted cylinder of time,
broken but replicable basin of space, ode to the fall,
the galvanized nipple, the tree, the apple, the snake.

Kimberly Ann Southwick is the founder and editor in chief of the literary arts journal GIGANTIC SEQUINS. She has two poetry chapbooks, her most recent being EFS & VEES, which came out with Hyacinth Girl Press. She lives in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana and is pursuing her PhD in English with a concentration in Creative Writing at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. A poem of hers was a finalist for the 2016 Yemassee Poetry Prize. Follow her on twitter @kimannjosouth and visit her at for more.