Litany Over Eastern Washington

By: Kasey Jueds



Having flown above desert waiting to bloom yellow
when this year pours itself into the next.

Having never glimpsed that particular bright.

Having folded the scrap
of paper so the words don’t show. Having passed
to the north of an absence,
hefted its precise weight in my torn pink bag.

Having mended with clumsy stitches.
Having expected and desired and continued
to desire, having swooned the thread
through the demanding needle’s eye.

Having been handed the name of the plant
that flowers yellow, having forgotten.
Having read like milk poured into milk, and seen for a second
that liquid seamlessly receiving itself.

Having plucked off puffs
of spent asters clinging to my sweater,
all but one, and felt
by wool and flower-silk
how each softness is kin to the next.

Once or twice, seatbelted in cloud-surround,
having known the air’s turbulence
as cradle-rock.

Having forgotten.

Having expected and desired and continued,
blue paper lifted toward bluer sky.




Kasey Jueds’s first book of poems, Keeper, won the 2012 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press. Her poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including American Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, Manhattan Review, Salamander, Crab Orchard Review, Women’s Review of Books, and 5AM; it has also been featured on NewsHour and Public Radio International’s “The Writer’s Almanac.” Jueds has been awarded residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Soapstone, and the Ucross Foundation. She lives in Philadelphia.