Back to Issue Thirteen.

the twist



i remember it
like a bullet
remembers the bone.

she was only fifteen
and i a year older
but we wanted it

more than anything.
i remember afterwards
her body heaving

like a racehorse
on the floor
of the empty house

next door to mine
as an unwelcome terror
let itself in

like a six year old
understanding space
for the first time or

like the alleyway robbery
of a pear-cut gem
i’d carried around

for years, not knowing
what a diamond was
or that it was there

all along
deep in the left pocket
of my favorite coat,

though sometimes i remember
myself double, holding
both the stone and the gun.

Ian Burnette is a student at Kenyon College and an Associate at The Kenyon Review. His work has appeared in The Forward Book of PoetryThe Kenyon ReviewThe 826 Quarterly, and elsewhere. His poem “dear radio” was selected by Tarfia Faizullah as the recipient of the 2015 Adroit Prize for Poetry, and his poem “Harvests” was selected by Richie Hofmann as the runner-up for the 2014 Prize, as well as selected for inclusion in plain china: Best Undergraduate Writing of 2014 and by Tracy K. Smith for inclusion in Best New Poets 2015. He lives in central Ohio.

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