Five Poems — Kayla Krut

The Discovery of Juliet Apparently Lifeless

sweat whipped frozen to her temple
and laced her brow

tho earlier she wept for her
faraway friend

inside whom she could not climb
from her starker pearl

& who tho she’d thus relayed
a knotted slew of gestures

peripheral to his red breathing
was not consoled

Sunday Before We Stop Speaking

Sugar, you tinge the air. The sky’s set
to dump rain. Electrical wire bristles,
crickets in a close field. Lightning soon.

Maybe this sugar’s sour cherries:
so we’ll “always have” Chicago
even if Munich doesn’t happen.

Your portrait in my faux cheetah
coat I keep on hand—kindergarten
jut with teeth and half-closed eyes.

The sun blisters, melting cloud.
Now you want somebody new,
who’s closer. Of course I understand.

The sun strikes out;
fleece billows by.

Beneath me on the back porch
an apple tree sags deep over a cherry.
I mistake one’s red for the other.

Ars Poetica

A man delivers oils and dry goods early.
Molasses, darkstrap, fills a plastic gallon.
That’s not how I seduce. I don’t seduce.
I sign the receipt he holds out on a clipboard;
his dolly slides away. I prowl the house
room by room—wet red tile in the kitchen
where the molasses sits under the island’s thick
metal plank; the knife’s-groove pearl
of frosted glass lining the shower;
the darker wood through walnut chairs
around our dinner table, veining their legs—
hoping the sun might flag the morning down
and hold off noon, and give the summer space
to settle, its sugar fouled by spills
that, cycled back upstream, bear down
on syrup trees, disbursing sour
forks of rain. That’s not
how I seduce. I mean,
their sap does, if you drink it.


I woke imagining waking
some morning having gotten
exactly what I wanted, the turn
to an eternally-sating other—

the future seems no different.
If it is all outlook, what stops me
flipping that switch?
Well, inborn desire,

This plagues, too, all the other players.
None of this is trying to be
new. I’m just sick
from the sickness of my feelings.

An eternally-sating other never
loses appeal nor the gem of obsession.
Even his gloom would have sunshine
he couldn’t help in it.

The list of how I want him
to be is the list of my own goals for myself.
Infinitely gentle. Loyally
feral. Happy
to go on and on.

Dexterously, good madonna.

Imagine: you’d thought
This would be enough to go on.

Would have to be.
That inner calm would come

& spirit’s shine could proffer
one milked arm,

going home

happy, piling
like doves into each other.

And the cost of waiting—
nausea, faint

from heat—I chose this, so
it wouldn’t get put past me—

Kayla Krut is an MFA candidate at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. Her work has appeared in Contemporary Verse 2, American Chordata, the Berkeley Poetry Review, and the Brooklyn Review. She is from California.