Mn poetry: Kris Bigalk’s ‘Remedy’

While Garrison Keillor’s bookstore “Common Good Books” has moved from its home underneath Nina’s coffee shop in St. Paul, a new bookstore has taken up residence there.

It’s called “SubText” – an apt name given its subterranean location. The bookstore hosts readings by local and regional authors pretty much every Wednesday evening. This Wednesday night will feature readings by four poets: Katrina Vandenberg, John Medeiros, Sierra DeMulder and Kris Bigalk.

Bigalk is the Director of Creative Writing at Normandale Community College. Her first full-length collection of poetry, Repeat the Flesh in Numbers, was released from New York Quarterly Books in February 2012.

Remedy

Empty places scare you, those long-grass

quiet meadowlands of childhood, walking for miles

with only birds for company. You imagined everyone

you knew had slipped away, floated off to ride

clouds, sunk underground to spelunk the caverns, turned

into trees waving on the horizon. Being missed

is important, being that thought

on someone’s mind that hangs on like a cockle-

burr, impossible to fully remove, always

some little fuzz or claw to remind,

frustrate, accept, or reject. But

you’d rather be a hunger, a craving,

like good dark chocolate or heavy

Swedish coffee, the kind you need before

ten o’clock each morning, or else a headache

will haunt you the rest of the day – yes, you

want to be the remedy before the symptom,

the warm blanket at the foot

of the bed, the reflection

of all who love you, perfect

versions of themselves

shining in your eyes.

“Remedy” by Kris Bigalk, as it appears in her collection Repeat the Flesh in Numbers, published by New York Quarterly Books. Reprinted here with the permission of the author.

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