Just once, let the glossy body lie in its own
tangled grasses. Admit the doors uncoupled
from their latches to allow us through were ones
we shouldered open. This is not the way—
forcing fruit to sugar in our hands. When our mothers
told us to love, they meant that we should wear
warm socks to bed. Look at their beds. If the garden
is not a garden, and if its tiny lamps illuminate only
their own darknesses, we must hold ourselves inside
forever. This is what oceans are for. This is why 2am.
Because now that touch is less of a medicine—less touch.
This poem appeared in Indiana Review 35.1, Winter 2013.
Keetje Kuipers has been the Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Resident, a Stegner Fellow at Stanford, and the Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College. A recipient of the Pushcart Prize, her poems, essays, and fiction have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Best American Poetry. Her first book of poetry, Beautiful in the Mouth, won the 2009 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and was published by BOA Editions. Her second collection, The Keys to the Jail, was published by BOA in 2014. Keetje is an Assistant Professor at Auburn University where she is Editor of Southern Humanities Review.