Laura Kasischke
Hardware Store in a Town without Men

I found myself in a story

without suspense, only

one deaf falcon circling deafly, and that

wild college girl next door


screaming at her mother on the phone.


My heart, a golden lobster, a star

in a grave, some

hot blood running underground...


and all my early daydreams loosed

like termites in the walls

of some deserted church.


Oh, I recognized my agony.

The howling dog of daylight life.

The years of lust had opened up

a permanent inn for phantoms

in my brain.


Then I turned forty.


Every morning, sweeping out the shadows

from the cobwebbed corners, raking

the leaves from the gutters,

the hair from the drains...


And sleep, the sweet

rolling water of its e's.

A stroll through the beautiful ruins

of my on dreams.

A hardware store

in a town without men. Whole

shelves dedicated to wrenches, gleaming.


And no reasons

to lock the door.


No door.

Found In Volume 31, No. 05
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Laura Kasischke
About the Author

Laura Kasischke's books of poetry include Wild Brides (1992), Fire and Flower(1998), Dance and Disappear (2002),Gardening in the Dark (2004), Lilies Without (2007), and Space, in Chains (2011), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award. She has won numerous awards for her poetry, including the Juniper Prize, the Beatrice Hawley Award, the Alice Fay DiCastagnola Award, the Bobst Award for Emerging Writers, and the Rilke Poetry Prize from the University of North Texas. She has also won several Pushcart Prizes, as well as received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.