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On My Way to Being an Actual

Perhaps it will happen

when, if ever, I purchase

some square of earth. Or

publish a book. Grow

a child. Cook lamb

for a dinner party. Be recognized

at the grocery store. Or

when, like my parents

before me, I buy

a decorative vase

to display on a shelf only

ever used for what is delicate

and rich. Perhaps then. Yes,

surely then. I am lost

in the bounty of this life. As a child

I thought often of death

from drinking too much water

strange fact I plucked

from the internetwhat we know

we learn somehow. The heart

can drown. There is too much

of a good thing and so much

of everything. I hear the people

are buying couch cushion covers

for their covered couch cushions.

So I do, too. How else to treat

something precious? Braised lamb &

my guests & children moving through

these crowded rooms. Perhaps

now. Yes, surely nowand still

the veined & beating muscle sinking,

sinking like a fist and still my mouth

pressed to the running tapgulping

wildly, marveling at all this abundance.


KIYOKO REIDY is a writer from East Tennessee. Her poems and nonfiction have been published or are forthcoming in Palette Poetry, the Harvard Review, the Cincinnati Review, and elsewhere. She currently lives in Colorado with her fiancé and their three dogs.


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