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Poem of the Month

Kirsten Kaschock is the author of two previous books of poetry: Unfathoms and A Beautiful Name for a Girl. She is also the author of a novel, Sleight, and the chapbook WindowBoxing. Kaschock teaches at Drexel University and lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


From The Dottery

by Kirsten Kaschock

the Exorcist’s dotter

took in all the Exorcist brought home:
smoke in brown bottles, fetal wisps
coiled around rosary beads, vapors
trailed from loafer heels. She scraped
it all into an antique copper tub for
bathing but saved that bath. It swirled
and foamed—the misshapen gas—it
lurched impolitely. It hissed. When,
out in the woodshed, she spoke
softly or crooned or read to it, when
she hummed or whistled or performed
naked in front of the tub, it stilled
itself. Afterward though, it was worse,
sloshing like a brew over the beveled
edges and into the dirt. The Exorcist’s
dotter tried poetry and puppet show
and flash photography. She did a stumbling
striptease out of a cassock, baked
it a cranberry tart. Later, she realized
what had spilt had found a way under
and into the groundwater. When they
came in their suits and smocks, pumps
and overalls, aprons and leather—when
they came in their microminis and
button-downs—when they came neatly
filed and in lockstep to the Exorcist’s
home, for the Exorcist’s dotter, their
teeth were dark with it, because they
were smiling.


Copyright © 2014 by Kirsten Kaschock. All rights reserved.











© 2014 University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.