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by Kara Goughnour


I put Song for Sasha Banks on repeat

and feel the pop and merge of narrow road,

each whirring bustle of tree behind me

each leaf flailing in its new wicked freedom,

each freckle of hair flung

into sun-soaked cheeks by that irascible wind.

We are all learning to live

within ourselves these days,

so in nightmares I drive in circles

trying to visit those I love.

You could fill auditoriums with the sound

of my pulse. With my breath, mistral and fierce.

There, the same fallow deer,

rib cage poking through.

There, the same beaten mailbox.


There, there, there.

You Cut My Hair

by Kara Goughnour

You Cut my Hair

at three in the morning       let tufts of musky brown hair       hold onto what’s left

hanging      a half-made web               & I shrug and say             May as well take it all         

& in late morning                 or sometime after sleep                        I hear you singing

over scrambled egg sizzles     high Dolly Parton twang       & think I hear the words

I love you, or maybe you just say         it’s all too much this time       I take the razor

to my head          & each bump feels          like a buoyant tomato               set to ripen

in a day or two     & at the table you smooth your hand        over it while you chew

& we walk when dishes are done             our hands hang entangled                 hinged

backs inlaid     with ripened levants        each thin sensation of love      a spider wisp

between us         clinging loosely         each previous promise           a perishing thing

Kara Goughnour Website Bio Photo.jpg

Kara Goughnour

Kara Goughnour is a queer writer and documentarian living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the 2018 winner of the Gerald Stern Poetry Award and has work published or forthcoming in Third Point Press, Riggwelter Journal, The Southampton Review, and others. Follow her on Twitter @kara_goughnour or read her collected and exclusive works at

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