Poet Katie Fowley’s ‘Lullaby’

Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography


by Katie Fowley

Let’s all become nurses
And sleep in low places
A spa of red flowers
A block of old trees.

Away from your window
Across from your building
A building like yours
Lets off its new steam.

It’s better this weather
It’s better than silk.

The sky is a gray thing
The sky wants to hold you
The sky is away now.
It cannot white out.

Let’s all become nursemaids
And sleep in low places
Let’s all become jelly
In a spa of red hearts.

The heart is an urchin
The heart isn’t well now
The heart has a fever.
It wants to black out.

Let’s all become nurses
And sleep by the fire
The winter umbrellas
A host of red hair.

It’s a good thing this building.
This mantle of gleaming.
I’ll build you a building
If you live there with me.

Like snakes in the building
Like birds in the building
The men in the building
Are circling free.

The dusk is a low thing.
The dusk wants to hold you.
You cannot be held now.
You cannot walk out.

Come out of your building
Fluorescent in gloaming.
The windows are darkening.
The smell of green tea.

This green is depressing.
This green light is fetching
The light from the ether
The light from your knee.

Katie Fowley is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her poetry and criticism have been published in No, Dear; 6×6; and Rain Taxi: Review of Books. She is a co-editor of Lightful Press, which publishes poetry, translation, and art. Her chapbook is forthcoming from DIEZ in spring, 2014.

Editor’s Note: Many thanks to Ugly Duckling Presse’s 6×6, in which “Lullaby” first appeared.