Talking

Once I complimented a poet and he said, “It’s all lies.”

When one friend tries to sleep, her mind is like my neighbor’s border collie, circling the yard, looking for imaginary sheep.

I used to carry rocks in my pocket because my often-angry father liked them, because he said, “See that stripe of red there? Isn’t it beautiful?”

When I moved from a small town, my friend said, “Oh, I’m so glad you’re moving to a city!” As if that were a good thing.

I am so very tired of men taking up so much space on the sidewalk.

How the bully starlings swoop down onto the bird feeder and all the other birds scatter.

How different we all are, as different as below and above water.

I do not understand you. I do understand you, but I am not like you. I like you, but I don’t want to be like you.

Every day the earth rotates so only part of it is lonely at any given time.


Katherine Riegel is the author of Love Songs from the End of the World (Main Street Rag 2019), the chapbook Letters to Colin Firth, and two more books of poetry. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Offing, Orion, Poets.org, Tin House, and elsewhere. She is co-founder and poetry editor for Sweet Lit. Find her at katherineriegel.com.