Kathlene Postma

Last night, folded in under blankets

that could not heal loneliness, I asked for a sign

from God, something simple, and before

I could specify just what I’d like

there came a shock to my chest, as if I

had been clamped with jumper cables. My

veins surged in a tsunami of blood,

a world awoke within my sleeping self.

I thought last night I would die

in bed, that my heart was erupting.

We have flawed chambers in my

line of people, hearts with kinks

that clog, one side of the muscle refuses

to speak to the other, and that lack

of communication kills. We die in bed,

at all ages, the next day beginning without

us in it. But last night I lived, and I lay

like a body thrown up upon a beach.

I slept and woke, made coffee, and went

about my business, remembering nothing

until dusk, when I drove by a field

green with new clover, and I remembered

once I walked in a pasture at midnight holding

the hand of a boy who loved me and we

met an electric fence barelegged.

The current kicked us to the wet

ground where we lay coursing together.

We howled while the stars vibrated and

the grass sizzled like cords between us.

Then, laughing, we got up and went on.

Kathlene Postma's poetry, short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in various literary reviews, including Rattle, Hawaii Review, Passages North, Beloit Fiction Journal, Natural Bridge, Event, Red Rock Review, Green Mountains Review, and Fugue. An essay of hers was designated a “notable” for an issue of Best American Travel Writing and she was recently awarded a Hedgebrook Residency to work on her novel A Boat on the Lake in the Dark. She edits the literary magazine Silk Road and teaches creative writing at Pacific University in Oregon.

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