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About this poet

Laura Kasischke is the author of The Infinitesimals (Copper Canyon Press, 2014). She teaches at the University of Michigan, and lives in Chelsea, Michigan.

Near misses

Laura Kasischke

The truck that swerved to miss the stroller in which I slept.

My mother turning from the laundry basket just in time to see me open the third-story window to call to the cat.

In the car, on ice, something spinning and made of history snatched me back from the guardrail and set me down between two gentle trees. And that time I thought to look both ways on the one-way street.

And when the doorbell rang, and I didn’t answer, and just before I slipped one night into a drunken dream, I remembered to blow out the candle burning on the table beside me.

It's a miracle, I tell you, this middle-aged woman scanning the cans on the grocery store shelf. Hidden in the works of a mysterious clock are her many deaths, and yet the whole world is piled up before her on a banquet table again today. The timer, broken. The sunset smeared across the horizon in the girlish cursive of the ocean, Forever, For You.

And still she can offer only her body as proof:

The way it moves a little slower every day. And the cells, ticking away. A crow pecking at a sweater. The last hour waiting patiently on a tray for her somewhere in the future. The spoon slipping quietly into the beautiful soup.

Copyright © 2011 by Laura Kasischke. Reprinted from Space, in Chains with the permission of Copper Canyon Press.

Copyright © 2011 by Laura Kasischke. Reprinted from Space, in Chains with the permission of Copper Canyon Press.

Laura Kasischke

Laura Kasischke

Laura Kasischke is the author of The Infinitesimals (Copper Canyon Press, 2014). She teaches at the University of Michigan, and lives in Chelsea, Michigan.

by this poet

poem
The white bowls in the orderly
cupboards filled with nothing.

The sound
of applause in running water.
All those who've drowned in oceans, all 
who've drowned in pools, in ponds, the small 
family together in the car hit head on. The pantry

full of lilies, the lobsters scratching to get out of the pot, and God
poem

Like the human brain, which organizes
The swirls and shades of the bathroom tiles
Into faces, faces
With expressions
Of exhaustion, of disdain. The
Virgin Mary in the toast of course
But also the penance in the pain, and the way
My mother invented
Plums and tissue paper,

poem

Recall the carousel. Its round and round.
Its pink lights blinking off and on.
The children’s faces painted garish colors against
an institutional wall. And the genetics. The
We won’t be here too long  ...    Do not step off  ...
The carousel? Do you recall? As if
we were our