Ravitte Kentwortz

Vulnerability Study

A girl on a street.
The wind rolling her faster.

Each foot stops a fall.
Never a second wind twice.

A girl before the bear.
The bear rises, and falls.

A plastic bag in the snow.
Skid marks hold it faster.

The girl’s skin as it is skinned.
The bear’s head in a bag.

A shopping bag on a street.
A sail on the subject of change.

A squirrel skids off the mark.
A full bag fills with wind.

Downhill the street rolls.
A wind rolling it faster.

Who Licked

Who licked a spoon and put it back?
Consider the sun
erupting and angry at its core.

A summer tanager. A red dust. Unplugged
like river slantingly

as if the water will drain,
but bushes, like pubic hair        hold up every drop.

Water.
Canadian thistles erupt
in the American lawn

all year long, sweetie,
sweetie, the chickadees, like a wall
facing an exit door. Your life

rearranged.
One Andromeda galaxy        red
backed. Put in plagues and war —

ways to reduce
our white pages. To empty the human.
Are notes not

the spoon?
Every erection is diffident. What sings
goes out with the tide.

Erect
the unbearable bearably
tomb like for things we forget.

What?              One salamander
ever deeply
put back in the canoe

with one paddle downstream
navigates a licking waters. How the fishes
acknowledged by bubbles

are bubbling —

On Notes on Wall

Numerous sheets of paper on the wall.
Numerous white papers.
Numerous papers each a visual closed door.

The story is not there. The story is
not a paper. In between
things, the story, an act
of fissure.

The wall is brown with carpenter stain.
The wall is brown with years.
The wall presses numerous closed doors.

The story is
another form of time,
a second time dimension

connected like a note
to the first. The story is

not a wall. The story is between
an anima and an other. The story
is a state. A war.

Each paper keeps a scribbled name.
Each square signed its name in ink.
Names voiceless in white vacuum.

The story is
not a word. The story is not
a dimension with lines. Between
a paper curd and an
other. Curd, curd. The river

and the tongue. Subway hole
and root. Paper, paper,
wall.

American Poison

In the distance a tractor
and its rider. The sky, hard and sanctioned,
piled in particles of grain.

A contraption behind the tractor
spreads seeds into open trenches,
opened and soaked.

The American landscape. Corn,
pigs and sweetened. It responds
to us. Pet corn,

glyphosated, yellow off the pot —
its teeth with our teeth.
We dump the emptied cobs.

A growing hump of cobs
dusts a landscape. Its color — fuel,
its smell — distended.

Empty,
with its sisters in a drying pile —
we lie with it.

Corn teeth in our gut
calling all gut bacteria. Give us
your breath. While we lie.

We climb to the top and kick. Lucy
spreads her toes. Then, we bury Hugh Grant.
Up his neck, a deep laugh. Grant

amplified active ingredients
dusts our hands and knees.
An amplified time to be in agriculture, I say.

The corn hump damps the voice. You can
take this stance when you’re standing
at the top of the pile.

Daughter of WWII partisans and Siberian exiles, Ravitte Kentwortz was born into a socialist community, where she was raised on the dogma of equality. Denied a student visa, due to insufficient financial assets, she entered the US illegally, but gradually arrived at citizenship. She studies philosophy in Colorado. Her poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in The Minnesota Review, Portland Review, MARY, Caliban, and others.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the editor of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom, winner of the 2017 Washington Prize, Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in such places as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, Gargoyle, The Journal, New American Writing, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, So to Speak, Verse, Verse Daily, and VOLT.

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