Kate Cumiskey

Write a poem about the dried flowers hanging from the curtain rod.

Write your mother, your sister’s ex-boyfriend, your hemorrhoids.

Write one honest politician you’ve shaken hands with; then

write Trump. Write about the eleventh grade American

History teacher who wanted to fuck you.


Write the zoology teacher who raped your best friend. Write

developers from Miami and New York raping the estuary.

Write your history; write that fear at 2 a.m. the night

your son overdosed. Write tile beneath your knees. 

Write rats in the kitchen, raccoons in the roof, your dog

over the fence, gone all night. 


Write the phone not ringing. Write your first fuck, 

your latest one. Write the student you wish would just shut 

the fuck up and write one paragraph. Write the one who scares you 

& the girl you wish somebody would say hello to. Write the gay boy 

your heart breaks for. Write punching the wall of your bedroom at

sixteen. Write solutions you dream before they slip into the fetid 

air. Write a poem. 

Kate Cumiskey is a graduate of the MFA program (poetry) at UNCW. She has a nonfiction book, Surfing in New Smyrna Beach, in its second run at Arcadia Press; another, University of Central Florida Through Time (Fonthill Media, London 2015); and Yonder, a book of poetry, from Silent e Publishing. Her work appears in Crazyhorse, Beloit Poetry Journal, Paterson Literary Review, Blood Orange Review and other lit mags.