THREE POEMS by Kristin Garth

The following poems are a preview of a larger project by Kristin Garth titled GIRLARIUM.


Cuts you camouflage with hair, secret you
are aware, perforations of the neck —
gangrene, at first, you suspect.  Mottled hue
imbued a metallic sheen, genuflect,
in horror, what they mean.  What hides 
behind your honey hair?  Longer each day
to part, prepare, arrange an exit, sides 
brushed straight.  Groom not for vanity sake
but to prevaricate.   By blue lips you are 
betrayed.  Matte lipstick cannot save the day — 
bottled water (not to drink) poured over,
until in bath you sink, flesh rosy pink.
You grow gills, amphibious instincts.


See Anemone sophomore year, marine 
biology trip tinged with fear.   Famous 
mansion two hours away, on HGTV. 
Its sharks, stingrays make you nervous,
the aquariums, the shark tunnel in the  
atrium.  Glass can craft the cruelest cage.
How captive glances accidentally
engaging residents, party guests outrage
you more than all the rest.  You flee to find 
your breath outside, handkerchief monogrammed,
a stranger provides, a dramatic Y 
two small initials beside means Youmans,
the owner of this vast atrocity
is staring at your neck curiously.


He orders custom, just like you — honey 
brunette locks waterproof, smatter freckles 
across pug nose below irises sea 
green, diaphanous clothes.  Opercula
plasticized, on either side of neck,
fantasized gills, they protect, hidden,
like yours, in abundant hair.  Circumspect 
you groom, prepare.  Tie pastels ribbons
he provides. Two water fairies, side by 
side survive squalls of solitude in a 
bedroom costumed subaqueous Versailles 
— no exhibitions, those invasive eyes.
Cancels the public aquarium tours.
It is a drowning home, but it is yours.

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House  (Maverick Duck Press), Crow Carriage (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), The Meadow (APEP Publications) and Golden Ticket from Roaring Junior Press.  She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter:  (@lolaandjolie) and her website

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