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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