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About this poet

Katy Lederer is the author of the poetry collections The bright red horse— and the blue— (Atelos, 2017), The Heaven-Sent Leaf (Crown Publishing, 2008), and Winter Sex (Wave Books, 2004), as well as a memoir, Poker Face: A Girlhood Among Gamblers (Broadway Books, 2003). Lederer has served as an editor for The Poetry Project Newsletter and Fence Magazine. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, and the New York Foundation for the Arts, and she lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Love

After Duras
"We go back to our house. We are lovers. 
We cannot stop loving each other."

I come to confiscate your love. 
What will you do?

Small shrubs grow in the blackened yard.
Sun, which is yellow, shines in through the windows, now barred.

You were watching me eat. 
Put your tongue in my mouth then retract it.

We were waiting for our recompense.
But everyone knows love is bankrupt.

On the billboard in front of us: breasts.
The empty middles of the mannequins that peered out through the glass. 

Reprehensibly, I mouthed the words: I love you.

Copyright © 2011 by Katy Lederer. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2011 by Katy Lederer. Used with permission of the author.

Katy Lederer

Katy Lederer is the author of the poetry collections The bright red horse— and the blue— (Atelos, 2017) and The Heaven-Sent Leaf (Crown Publishing, 2008).

by this poet

poem

That everything's inevitable. 
That fate is whatever has already happened. 
The brain, which is as elemental, as sane, as the rest of the processing universe is. 
In this world, I am the surest thing.
Scrunched-up arms, folded legs, lovely destitute eyes. 
Please insert your spare
poem

It was the market day
and I had rented a stile
by which I could number my patrons;
and a tree, so that I could plant something
living by my selling stand;
and a hefty snatch of my favorite black cloth
so that I could mimic mourning
and people might think that my husband had died

poem

I slapped my chickens with a ruler
as they looked at their privates—
they were ashamed and walked
as if they were kings.
I had punctured the chest
of the cavity rooster.

My dog was licking my ankles
and giving me wedding rings.
It was too much to care—
so I took money