Five Points, Vol. 14 No. 1

Fall 2011

From Kim Addonizio, “The one thing I know I won’t quit is poetry.”

Sample Content

Cleopatra Mathis
Dune Shack

To live in this place, you have to kill things.
At first you think you’ll wait, you’re innocent, the one
no one can blame. All those fixed
notions of what you could count on: the old life
made it possible to look the other way. But out here,
you have to deal with the obvious.
The maimed, the hopeless—
they’re all around, there waiting. Otherwise
would your eye twitch, your right leg shake?

By the third day you’ve scoured it all,
but hunger being what it is, the mother mouse
moves right in, deposits her half-inch
offspring in some cotton you left unguarded.
And hearing her scratch through the night
is made worse only by her disappearance—
who knows what marsh hawk got her
or some other closer beast
forging around the stilted shack?

So: since you’re who’s left, who’s responsible,
Number 1, get the little things out of hiding.
Number 2, just get it over with.