[The giant takes us]

By Kate Greenstreet Kate Greenstreet
The giant takes us
down. A man with no arms.
What made today
is concordant,
the brief decisive phase we call fear.
I look to that whited-over part and see a face.
Then I look to the black and
see the same face.
There were tunnels…chambers
beneath some of the sidewalks…page after page of places…
The last thing you think of.
Won’t be my fluffy blonde hair.
We have his ear.
He was the first boy I knew. The liberation.
Which I remember
from sand. The pail shape. The whole world’s washed out.
These words: take refuge.
What I mean by dream in this case is
his last dream.
And you see no land, you’re that far away.
Someone coughs
in my first life.
Someone must have noticed
how like you he is…
First you can’t be heard
Then you can’t hear
Then you can’t dial
Then you can’t turn it off
You pose a question, I repeat it.
And as always with speech, one is blind.
As a reflector, as of cloth or
thick flecked glass, as slats—
You asked though
about the self.
There were fireflies,
and the corn cut to the nubs. The windows
shook, we saw a flash of light…
then the tiniest
of rain
after we waited
all day.

Kate Greenstreet, "[The giant takes us]" from The Last 4 Things. Copyright © 2009 by Kate Greenstreet.  Reprinted by permission of Ahsahta Press.

Source: The Last 4 Things (Ahsahta Press, 2009)

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Poet Kate Greenstreet

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Living, The Mind, Time & Brevity, Activities, Travels & Journeys


A graphic artist and painter, Kate Greenstreet is the author of the poetry collections case sensitive (2006) and The Last 4 Things (2009), which she published with a DVD of short films based on the book. Her chapbooks include Learning the Language (2005), Rushes (2007), This is why I hurt you (2008), and CALLED (2011).

In case sensitive, a female character, driving across the U.S. and writing in a journal, channels and . . .

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Poems by Kate Greenstreet

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Mind, Time & Brevity, Activities, Travels & Journeys

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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