when the situation does not decompose you are making me know

Kirsten Ihns


the heat sees no thing, just knows

how to rise

supremely a filling action


…it is steep to be young


give me just the instant! i will make it       out of view:


there are things i am glad

that nobody counts

the number of times

i do


if the good you are circumspect

if the flawless in it circummortal


though i go out like a         flash

i go out like a     flash   flash

i go out like a     flash   flash & diamond

i go out like a     ice


if the animus moves to venture its disposal

you should listen

with your good ear. you should

crack cap polypore. you should cling

to the tree

like you might

fall off

you should get real

convinced about something


allow me to reprise the preliminary causes:

i’m a bad hat

in my real clothes

i am one of those things i do for free


a woman watches a slideshow of her own life

in the big gym

on the recliner bike


if life gets treadless as a lollipop

then i’m bouncing on its slow machine


these are only the rules

but to follow them is a real




the world is a thin case and dimly, the what

you can see through it, hot

not doubt


bound up in the verity of its great clear walls

the fabulate act of their rising


they do no such thing but the fact of it

in a style so tender and suitable


o the heat is totally upwards. the heat is arriving balloon



dear god i am making a true act

very corner

i am turning bleakly around it

is this

a verifiable practice

am i being the right way to ask this

     am i


delirious: to have jumped the furrow, joyed

i’m a wayward



(the furrow instrument-joyed!)

passing to another density

whose ancestor occupies the floor

grooved like terrestrial paradise



i want to be so real

so complete you can know

all my predicates

i want you

to know all my predicates


through the completed trajectory of their arriving

o you see it is comprising

/doing it constantly


let’s be pleased by the scent of the yoke

coming on:


i swear it is so good it will delight you


someone needs to be brave enough

to go up and comfort the miracle

say soothing things like

      that the nation unit observe this day

      that the fountain water taste like a strawberry

    that there is no flaw in your particular lightness



i want to be changed just by being how not


are you laughing at my synonym

are you a habit take me out of the things i am

you can’t

tell the value of a thing

in terms of itself

example:   the day passes by

    recording its numerals


example: is there a thought

you could put in your mind

that would make it two


you have to trust your body

to know what to do


        big animal down in its history rut

   scoring it out

coming to settle

my flesh on its sharp angles


love it


bitter wires as a tricked winter mooring

saying what it means like a lazy orbit

pouring up the rainstorm like an hour

lays its waste on the ground              enormous sounds

and what remains


i love myself most a moment ago

i love myself in the shapes i know

how to use:


habit, garment, vestment, clothes

woodchip super fortress


    & full of veins

take it nude and shoeless

in the spruces

bare as species

bear as silty clay that means

tested to the depth

of what do you accept


/teach me how to be a person

the moment i say

you see, you do what i want


to want

to make me that shape

what is it

made you instrument


what is it made you

start to use them


tell me   i don’t usually do this


it isn’t my house

traversing its zenith

the creature feeling traversed my south


o i know so much at the edge of my reach

it barks at me over the fence




KIRSTEN IHNS is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and is currently a Ph.D. student and Neubauer Presidential Fellow at the University of Chicago, where she co-curates the emerging writer/artist interdisciplinary series Plexiglas, and reads poetry for Chicago Review. Her first book, sundaey, is forthcoming from Propeller Books in 2020, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Hyperallergic, Black Warrior Review, DREGINALD, Bennington Review, Yalobusha Review, TAGVVERK, The Iowa Review, New Delta Review, Prelude, and elsewhere. She is from Atlanta, GA.