Kate Greenstreet Poems




from The Last 4 Things



That hard thread

between us.


Is it gold? Do I have to be

so outshined by my curtain?



especially by breaking.


people who would die

people who would almost


die and

who would be injured



an enormous gathering



Set down: to write or

copy. To consider.


To humiliate or humble,

set down in heavy fog.


To cause to pass into the given,

to set a prisoner free.



My dad was in the water.

Across an unprecedented space.


It would rain

for days, they said


he’d come home.  

[lists the father’s wounds]



That hard thread

is a bone. Is made of bone.


When I was alone,

a girl,


the first loss,

between tunnels,


I didn’t need so much.

I’d eventually get hungry.





I had a disease. Also I was drowned. Also saved.


Put your hand

on my heart, a solid or


solid phase.

This is the foresight.


You might think of smoking, singing together…

These were our neighbors who rescued the injured.


The women are all barefoot,

the men too.


And he’s walking —

right into his shadow.


The phone call? only a dream.

“much love”


The women are all drinking.





The first light has a reason.


Someone asked “what is dying?”

and someone at my side said “he’s gone.”

Almost at once, it’s a story.


So many passwords!





In the shape

of the stain


He hears it! No—he sees


The heat makes waves

There is no water in this ground

And I promised to be brave





A turn, a mordent, a melodic


A flag


in the hard black


Dragging a stone

The transition


That’s when I found out my insurance was worthless

Life had other qualities

Because people disappear

from the earth

A green we did in seven values




Kate Greenstreet's chapbook, Learning the Language, was published by

Etherdome Press in 2005. Her first full-length book, case sensitive, will be

out from Ahsahta Press in September 2006.





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