about the author

Karen Hildebrand’s poetry has been published in various journals, including Fourteen Hills, G.W. Review, and Meridian, and has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. Her most recent credits include EDGE, Poet Lore, Blue Earth Review, Glassworks, The Lindenwood Review, Nimrod, Crack the Spine, and Hiram Poetry Review. Her play, The Old In and Out, cowritten with poet Madeline Artenberg, was produced in New York City in June 2013. Karen grew up in Colorado, made a career in human resources, and then reinvented herself as a writer/editor at midlife. She now lives in NYC, where she heads the editorial department for a publisher of five popular dance magazines.

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Karen Hildebrand

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I am a mud flat caked,
the lake I once contained
now low enough
to reveal the corpses.
I lust for oil and fancy skin,
plump as St. Louis, long to
drown my thirst in honey.
My tongue is stiff as a perfect credit score.
I’ve turned up every jar I own
to capture the dew of a new day.
It’s enough to make my tear ducts pool.
You could say, I’ve made my bed and now
I must lie in the five o’clock shadow.
Let me be clear—
When I tell you my dream
of wild horses, their sleek haunches
twitching with a lovely sweat,
it’s my vagina speaking.
When I say, hollow egg shell,
I don’t mean chicken.
Everything is a symbol. It’s all a warning.
My broken trust in this sweet body
of water, the divining blue veins
of my hands rising like rivers.

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