Kim Young / Divided Highway
Kim Young was born in Los Angeles and now lives in Reseda. She has earned an MA in English from California State University-Northridge and an MFA in poetry from Bennington College . Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and appears in several magazines, including Mipoesias, Pool, and Pebble Lake Review.
Sleight of Hand
I’ve fallen for the silt and turkey vultures,
the Thai food and sleeper waves,
Molotov cocktails and polystyrene,
soap flakes and the CIA. The cop yesterday
at a press conference holding up
each moment: tear gas and battering ram
and four black and whites in front of 7-Eleven.
I want his hands that didn’t shake.
Even though it’s just
a choreographed illusion
like a sword passing through a
beautiful woman in a basket.
The trick is her black feathered straps,
her legs roped and spread-eagle.
I’m confessing my love for performance.
I’m collecting mother of pearl and
pictures of the sky—each curtsy and canary
a lover’s hand I’m holding to a thigh.
How can I not submit to this world?
I lift my torn oyster veil every time.
I take in the body dumps and bookmakers,
the calling cards and ephedrine highs.
I kneel down. I make this
vagrant world mine.