Poet of the Month
Every month Moon Tide Press features a different poet to celebrate and bring readership to deserving, diverse voices.
If you are interested in being featured as a Poet of the Month, or want to nominate a poet, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kenzie Allen is a poet and multimodal artist. A descendent of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, she is the recipient of a 92NY Discovery Prize, an inaugural James Welch Prize for Indigenous Poets, and fellowships from Vermont Studio Center, Aspen Writers’ Foundation, and In-Na-Po. Her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in Poetry magazine, Boston Review, Narrative magazine, The Adroit Journal, The Paris Review Daily, and other venues. Born in West Texas, she is currently an Assistant Professor in English and Creative Writing at York University in Toronto.
I used to have a depression
on the ring finger
of my right hand
from where I would crush
a pencil against it
while writing. You tell me
the body makes room
for our favorite ways, bones thicken
like pearls from the heft
of a child. The teeth will alter
their common alignment, to pocket
a pipe-stem, to mention
malnutrition. The twisted foot
betrays a man bent
in the mines—the chipped skull
is a keyhole to let angels in.
The pelvic girdle a vessel, widens,
billows at its sutures where
the male’s remains heart-shaped
and rigid. Were I left-
-handed, my right tibia
would be lighter and more slender.
Were I beaten enough, even this
would be written in my bones.
Originally published in Iowa Review
THE GRAND CANYON OPENS ITS LEGS WIDE
Pinked marble, ochre lapels,
this wedding chapel of petrified
small creatures gone dust to tar
to colossal river to rubble to
film grain clotted in the wallow.
I reach for you—twelve miles
as the crow flies—they call my neck
holy and treacherous, my veins
copper-ridden and boiling, see
my many points of interest,
name them, anchor a short-lived mine
to my upturned lip, accessible
by stagecoach and clever fingers
at coin driven viewfinders. Hot
rocky mess, broad broad, show me
with your arms how much of me
can't be held. How wounds deepen
the soil of me, how the oceans give way
to floods, lakes, a single river
which threads only where it can—
snake's back, scenic all the day long—
how when you drive away from here
14.4 megapixels won't do me justice,
you’ll say nothing really does it but
dipping in and experiencing it
for yourself, every purpled swelling
more luscious than the last.