Press/3 Fragments on Prom

1/ The girls in eighth
grade told me to press
my thighs together
when wearing a skirt,
bend down with knees
pressed tight,
never dance with
my torso pressed
against him, his thing
pressed into my stomach
as we slowly shuffled
to “Color My World,”
his hand pressed
the hollow of my back.

 
2/Press into me,
print me into paper
with blackened ink
on steel letter type,
a flower pressed
between pages,
not thinking of
the dry pressed lips
of my disapproving
grandmother.

 
3/Walking onto
crunching ice, cool
wind pressing thin
dress, truck tracks
pressing into unplowed
road, headlights pressing
into darkness like a book
opening, a skirt lifting,
our world colored in
cold steely hardness,
the sliding of parkas
opening, petal soft
polyester, pressed lips.

Front page image by Jlhopgood.

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Kathryn Kysar

About the Author

Kathryn Kysar is the author of two books of poetry, Dark Lake and Pretend the World, and she edited Riding Shotgun: Women Write About Their Mothers. She has received fellowships and residencies from Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. Kysar chairs the creative writing program at Anoka-Ramsey Community College.
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