some black women are my friends & their tears seem the hems
of blue dresses. I ball un-ball
my pocketed palms
& think on stockings, bells.
among my students sometimes number black women—
I wish their tears were rungs; such
Douglas Kearney’s most recent collection, Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), is a Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize winner, a Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) Firecracker awardee, and California Book Award silver medalist. Kearney is also the author of Someone Took They Tongues (Subito Press, 2016), and Mess and Mess and (Noemi Press, 2015), which Publisher’s Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” He teaches at the University of Minnesota.