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Kirry Kaufer

Watershed/Waterspout

I swallow from your straw sixteen times.

A man on the city street sings into a paper cup.

He once said, there ain’t no devil,

Only a god when he’s drunk.

Everyone wants to be God on a Saturday night.

Everyone wants to be touched tonight.

My upper thigh: the freshly trimmed

olive trees against the sky. Pearly cream

plunges the sidewalk, side ledge

against the branch. The insides of olives are actually red,

but you didn’t know that since you never got

your first taste of blood.

My waterspout is turned on.

twisting, writhing like the numb tips

of our snowflaked noses.

I dread the watershed.

Light washes over my face,

coloring the backs of my eyelids acid yellow.

Can you feel the butterflies

drowning in my stomach acid?

I glaze honey around the cooler parts of your stove.

I’m thirsty. I want a Coke.

I want to feel its sticky sweat down my throat.

I once had a lover

who said I make beautiful things sound

disgusting. My sweet insides

disjoin & decrystallize into the yarn

I never learned to crochet. Your tongue

arcing the pink caterpillar of my mouth

has me foam frothing, whiting your landscape.

Why the hell are the walls painted white?

A white chocolate sweater is folding

at the collar of your rim. Sometimes

I like to dress your demons in warm

woolen sweaters while you cradle my bottom lip.

Is my skin keeping them out or locking them in?


Kirry Kaufer (They/Them) is a senior at SUNY Purchase who studies creative writing with concentrations in both poetry and fiction. They are the recipient of the Ginny Wray Prize in Poetry (2023), and co-manage Purchase’s literary magazine, Italics Mine, alongside their roommate. In addition, they are a poetry editor for Chaotic Merge Magazine and Small Orange Journal.

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