Kendall graduated from the University of Tampa’s Creative Writing M.F.A. program and currently teaches writing online for Florida International University. Her recent poetry can be found in Bad Pony Magazine, Patient Sounds, Occulum, Anti-Heroin Chic, Zin Daily, Z Publishing House’s “Best Emerging Poets” and Driftwood Press. She facilitates “Poetry in Movement” classes at the Arts Center in Troy, NY; where she gets to combine her passions of dance and words.

 

 

When the Body Breaks

1.

Somebody asks
how we count
in this world,
but I can’t recall.

In the beginning
we imagined our poems
digging,
found strange things from other places
and waved the very best of them.

We learned early
how to smear our tongues
on every weeping morsel,

how artist needs body,
how we must taste the food we eat.

2.

We listen high
to the heavy hum of Monday.

Our bodies dropped low or doped up—
cough-syrupped and crazy glued.

Our eyes fixed
on the same incapacitated star—
her moon-tides always creeping,
wherever you go.

3.

Ah dear Jesus, we wait
for any new light.

I have been making this effort, Lord.

Despite myself, I believe
there is a very real future
nothing like what I see.

 

 

Of Sea and Sky

“Sometimes she did not know what she feared, what she desired: whether she feared or desired what had been or what would be, and precisely what she desired, she did not know.”
― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

1.
I’ve never seen a living oyster
though I have eaten them
and worn pearls around my neck.

2.
Beyond the no trespassing sign,
we found a waterfall.
Splashing, I grasped for something I’m not sure exists—
something I might always attempt to find and hold.

3.
Why don’t eagles don’t band together?
I know they aren’t cogs,
geese in symmetry,
but still it is easier
to get a bunch of people dancing
when you begin with two.

4.
I met a woman who is carefree, so I am
learning to be more open.
I’m not sure friendship is possible,
but I am attempting to find
harmonies
between absence
and presence.

5.
Shaken, I settle into new shapes
bright and strange—
like a kaleidoscope
or a game of musical chairs played by
luminescent fish on the ocean floor.

6.
I play the idea of reinvention
in my record-player.
I wonder if transformation is possible
or if we are just clams with one unchanging pearl inside us.

 

Shock Me, Major Tom

I am a hanging man
over a frozen lake.

I imagine plunging
into your raw hypothermic water.
To be swallowed alive
must be the best way to die

but, I must learn to be comfortable
with small deaths.
I try to paint
my dreams in a room
with a sleeping man, I want
to bring to life.
I need
to be more than the thing with a part that fits,
waiting for you to want me.