The Bear Who Ate the Stars, the new chapbook by Split Lip’s Uppercut Chapbook Award winner Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, is now available for pre-order. Visit Split Lip Press to purchase and receive your copy by November 1st. Want a taste? Scroll down and read “Expected Gestures,” which first appeared in Split Lip Magazine’s issue 8.
From house to house we drag
our tired, unlived-in things:
the half-filled photo albums
where our childhoods twin,
Midwest with Eastern European,
your flattened fields of corn
where thunderstorms roamed wildly
down from a gunpowder sky
over pale plains, and my black
earth-born wheat, growing far above
where I could reach; and then
there are those unforgotten relics
full of brittle petals, guiltless poems,
and lingering smells of lovers we lost
or regret or naively thought
we loved. From room to room
we carry each other, our bodies:
these weary, changeless things.
You watch the same woman
unveil her same nakedness:
her aging, growing curves;
her hipbone, less prominent now,
still casting a kind of dark, sharpness
over thigh and dip of stomach,
over those places you’ve overlooked.
can we still find the curtainless
windows where we will make love
so late only streetlamps keep witness;
the goose bumps around my ankles
and your chin, their suggestion
of saccharine, grain-like stubble,
finding its way to the surface; and
the steeping stairs, where we will stumble
after too much wine or too little sleep?
Here, can a freshly scratched
outline of a shoulder blade remind us
of beauty: the sliver of daytime
sent to highlight bones or
the living room walls where
our future children will paint?
Or are we, in leaving one place
for another, creating more duffels
to lug from house to swollen house,
ignoring our unremembered,
but God-like things.