The Kisser

By Dora Malech b. 1981 Dora Malech
As in, in the, of course. The body knew
the drill by now. Was are we there yet and then
never been so, then so long. Heart tied
with twine, with shorthairs, trip wires—whispered that bind.
Drew the short straw, scared herself apart
to spit-sweet shards and into time that counted
backwards from two lips ago. Said done
is done and is between me and those teeth.
Some little story about dignity.
We’re there yet. Said trussed me. Body the white flag,
body the pulley. Hoist up and sang to beat
the heart back down again—stick-stone, stick-stone.

Source: Poetry (November 2010).


This poem originally appeared in the November 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2010
 Dora  Malech


Dora Malech grew up in Maryland, and earned a BA in Fine Arts from Yale and an MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her awards include a Clapp Fellowship from Yale, Capote and Teaching-Writing Fellowships from Iowa, a Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship, and a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship. Malech's poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, Poetry London, and elsewhere. She is the author of Shore Ordered Ocean (2010), and . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Body

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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