Kate Lucas Poetry


Read More: A Short Interview with Kate Lucas

Quantum Physics on the Radio

Running errands today, I learned
bundles of atoms invisible to the naked eye

can be in two places or shapes
at once. Now they’ve seen this in the macro,

an object the size of a human hair.
Their new question: how far

do these laws go? Some think
there’s no upper limit. Count me in—

Catholics love these kinds of magic
laws. Jesus is at once human

and divine. The Bible is somehow both
word of God and human literature.

One gets to heaven by grace
and good works, faith and merit.

And why not? Maybe a grandfather
can be in both this world

and the next. A girl can be
in the present and the past.

A man can be at once cheerful
and anguished, intimate

and a stranger. And a lover
can pull you in, ask you not to leave

while pushing you away, somehow
the one who dances close and slow,

Lou Reed’s voice a thrum in your chest
and the one who sits behind a table of sushi

telling you dully, plainly
he has no more to give or take.




Origin Story

Once, an army of ice
tearing across the plains.

Now, a muddy ribbon
discarded in its wake.

Long before the steeples rose,
before the warriors were hanged,

before the prairie was overturned,
even before it unfolded and bloomed,

the river roared and tore through
everything in its path.

Now it limps, thick and poisoned,
collector of all that drains.

Home for the fish, it can’t protect them:
smallmouth bass and black buffalo

overrun by pouch snail
and bloodworm, shrewd survivors.

It can’t protect a young man
who careens over the bridge,

nor the town cowering from high winds,
though they used to say a funnel cloud

would never drop in its gully.
A dervish jumped right in,

plowed the steeples and rooftops,
pulled the trees, tossed the boats.

This incessant churning, this chewing
and spitting out, gouging and pushing away—

what do I know about belonging,
about preservation, about blame?




Three Ways of Thinking About Love

“The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.”
       -Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj



Like crabs skittering into the shadows of rocks
we prepare for Armageddon,

store up canned goods, bottled water, candles,
hide from the bleak, windblown desert.


Dear, fragile bird at the canyon’s lip,
delicate teacup, beautiful web of fissures—

how to coax you from the edge again?


Sometimes we are the field […]

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Kate Lucas writes and teaches in Minneapolis, MN. She was selected by Patricia Smith and Matt Rasmussen for the Loft Mentor Series Award in Poetry for 2014-15 and received an Honorable Mention for the series, selected by Cathy Park Hong and Peter Campion, in 2013. Her poems and essays have appeared in Sleet Magazine, rock paper scissors, and the anthology From the Pews in the Back. She holds an MFA from Hamline University and previously served as assistant poetry editor for Water~Stone Review.

Read More: A Short Interview with Kate Lucas