by Keetje Kuipers
It came from a catalogue. I opened
the plastic bag inside the plastic bag
and out tumbled fabric fine as flesh.
From the hem hung a thread I thought
to free with one swift tug. But this
was like pulling a river from the sea. Strand
of hair: long and black and woven all
its shimmering length. Of course
I wondered who she was. I read the tag
and closed my eyes until someone nearly
appeared to me. Let’s not pretend I knew
her life. I wore the scarf most days.
As for the river, I didn’t know what to do
with what I’d found, so I threw it away.
Keetje Kuipers’ third collection, All Its Charms, was published by BOA Editions in 2019. Her poems have appeared widely, including in The New York Times Magazine, as well as the Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry anthologies. Previously a Wallace Stegner fellow, Bread Loaf fellow, and the Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Resident, Kuipers is currently Senior Editor at Poetry Northwest.
Featured photo courtesy of inger maaike.