Kelly Schirmann


It took me two decades
to respect powerpop as a physical force
& now it lives in me like a great Christmas –

People change.

I can sit across the table from any man
& run around the yard
of our fake future, feeling
its weightlessness, the waxy grass ...

I prefer to introduce myself
as a time of year, or as an artifact
from your childhood bedroom,
all of its revisions understood.

Being a woman is so naked,
like a tree you could just zoom past
& not try to figure out.

I treasure being in my twenties, & feeling so violently
about whatever peace means.

Bear-hugging the version of you I’ve invented
& not being afraid of what other lies I’ve told me.

I saw you walking
quickly away from me in the movie theater
& then we cried together talking about that train scene
until he came out to smoke a cigarette
but this was the last time.

I don't miss anything.

For the same reason
I could never make you feel guilty about money,
I read biographies about 80's supergroups
& dog--‐ear the passages about loving
versus fucking.

I am not dead without you &
this makes it worse.

Every machine just stops working
if you use it long enough.

Kelly Schirmann is the author of Activity Book (NAP) & the co—author of Nature Machine (Poor Claudia). She sings in the band Young Family, whose EP King Cobra is now available from Spork Press, & runs BLACK CAKE, a web-based audio-chapbook label for contemporary poetry. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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