The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2021

All Issues
FEB 2021 Issue


Salt Bath

I feel like writing in my high-fertility poetry suit.
The feeling of hair underwater.
The feeling of feeling
My ancestor the onion.
Dry onions in the mouth.
Ancestral onion, time spent alone and salty.
What is delightful about a thinking creature?
Creature thinks: So full of salt
I could levitate.
I am going to know things.
What dull grape.
What looming tongue.

What Is Sex?

Is it maintenance?
Is it deliberate?
Is it appropriate?
What is this sexual creature in socks?
Is it molting?
Does it change?

Where is the white cat that sought sunlight?

The frigid air.
The vanquished cat.
The giddy hawk.
The unkempt cat.
The upset hawk.
The unwed cat.
The hawkish dog.
The rusty cat.

What is sex?
Is it unbelievable?
Is it second hand?
Would you prefer it with wool?
A terrible interest.

Were I with you, were I with you—

If it doesn’t pour out of you
a wider net.

The Teller

I charge the banks.
I hit a groove
and it is winter
in my country.

I go to the teller.
The teller gives me a temporary card.
It is dusk between us.
I speak through tablets
that touch me without reaching for my hands.

The teller does not touch me.
He is tall like an endangered plane tree.

The teller was raised in the mountains drinking mountain tea.
His name was chosen by the Dalai Lama.
It is the most common name in Tibet.

The teller migrates like fashion.
He speaks to me through glass.

He tells without thinking,
tucks his shirt in,
tells and tells like a fungus that spreads
irreverently, without end.

Teller, if you trust me, tell me.
Tell it straight until it ends me.
Teller, if you love me, tell me.
Tell the whole company.

Tell me where to go from here.
I am a wave.

When the teller kisses me, I turn into a company.

Gentlemen don’t kiss and tell.
I’m not a gentleman.
I’m a branch in a current of money.

Tie me to that tree.
Tell me another current will wash us.
Tell me it’s only temporary.


Katie Fowley

Katie Fowley is the author of the chapbook Dances & Parks (DIEZ Press). Her poems have appeared in Fence; No, Dear; The Atlas Review; 6×6; Cosmonauts Avenue; and elsewhere. Katie teaches English and poetry to high school students at The Hudson School. The Supposed Huntsman (Ugly Duckling Presse), forthcoming in March, is her first full-length collection of poetry.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2021

All Issues