Back to Issue Thirteen.

the twist



i remember it
              like a bullet
                             remembers the bone.

she was only fifteen
             and i a year older
                          but we wanted it

more than anything.
              i remember afterwards
                           her body heaving

like a racehorse
              on the floor
                           of the empty house

next door to mine
            as an unwelcome terror
                          let itself in

like a six year old
              understanding space
                            for the first time or

like the alleyway robbery
             of a pear-cut gem
                          i’d carried around

for years, not knowing
                           what a diamond was
                                         or that it was there

all along
              deep in the left pocket
                           of my favorite coat,

though sometimes i remember
             myself double, holding
                          both the stone and the gun. 




Ian Burnette is a student at Kenyon College and an Associate at The Kenyon Review. His work has appeared in The Forward Book of PoetryThe Kenyon ReviewThe 826 Quarterly, and elsewhere. His poem "dear radio" was selected by Tarfia Faizullah as the recipient of the 2015 Adroit Prize for Poetry, and his poem "Harvests" was selected by Richie Hofmann as the runner-up for the 2014 Prize, as well as selected for inclusion in plain china: Best Undergraduate Writing of 2014 and by Tracy K. Smith for inclusion in Best New Poets 2015. He lives in central Ohio.