Poem with a Possible Unidentified Flying Object

Kate Gaskin

All this glittering city

and yet we are still only
animal and heat
and the renewable resource

of tears.

The body will always make more room
for grief.
There’s the known

and unknown: someone will hurt you

by hurting himself, apples
make a healthy snack, a shower is a good
place for crying. And sometimes

in the sky at night there are phenomena

we don’t yet know how to name. I’m tired
of running down the same hallway
of my handful of faults,

never learning which doors

lead to which rooms, and—never mind—
they’re all locked anyway. I want to live
in the mystery of what I can’t describe,

how time loops

us back to our origin stories, each of us
dragging our tin cans of sorrow behind.
Give me a bouquet of unexplained lights

unzipping into the color of cornflowers

above the Gateway Arch. I want to believe
I can go beyond my own understanding
of this plainly heartbroken world—

its starfish, wild fruit, and gleaming.

Kate Gaskin’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Guernica, Alaska Quarterly Review, Pleiades, The Southern Review, and Blackbird among others. She is a recipient of a Tennessee Williams Scholarship in poetry to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, as well as the winner of The Pinch’s 2017 Literary Award in Poetry. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska. You can find her on twitter @katebgaskin.