Foreign to me how she looks in exile
from herself—bottle-blonde and bruised. The trill
of Carlos, Carlos drilled into my dreaming
I plug my ears to stop the trespass of
these row-house walls. The throated moans after
the tall Coronas he’s deported
empty to the fence I’ve staked with flags
and pinwheel daisies—just to keep the
field rats out. The cholo squirrels. The rabbits
breeding more than rabbits can afford.
Kathleen Hellen is the author of Umberto’s Night, winner of the Jean Feldman Poetry Prize, and two chapbooks, The Girl Who Loved Mothra and Pentimento. Awards include the Thomas Merton poetry prize, and prizes from the H.O.W. Journal and Washington Square Review.