"Hysteria Gloss"

Nancy Kuhl


When a good or a bad trait is absent say

it skips a generation ;


ache or blurt or blear: a symptom,

the body confirming our suspicions;


of reluctance say

she can't pull the trigger ;


diagnosis: she has a tendency to disappear

suddenly and without warning;


split into two parts: half and half

or, scolding: now, that's enough;


a panting truth coming to the shimmering,

the rippled surface from any depth is our past;


enduring long periods of uncertainty,

anyone might become a scavenger.

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Author Bio: Nancy Kuhl’s recent books include Pine to Sound (Shearsman 2015) and The Birds of the Year (Grenfell Press 2017). She is Curator of Poetry for the Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.