KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 12: Summer 2019
Prose Poem: 134 words

In Paris

by Kathleen McGookey

Back when my hair did not smell of burning leaves, when each day unfurled its lonely petals like frost etching a train window, when my stomach was flat and I contained only contradictory selves, I followed you to a grocer on the Champs Elysees and bought two green apples, one for now, one for later. I could have been anyone with all the time in the world. I followed you through doors of bone I did not understand were doors while water dripped and echoed. My heart knocked to be let back in. Back then, my grief was a rabbit in a shoebox. My regret was an egg. My anger grew mums that bloomed like blue flames. You were a carpet of feathers, a flock of swans, migrating, and every radiant mirror.


—First published in Arts and Letters and reprinted in McGookey’s forthcoming collection, Instructions for My Imposter (Press 53, 2019); appears here with permissions from the poet and Press 53. See a review of her book here in Issue 12, by Clare MacQueen.


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