Molly Sutton Kiefer


Feeding Fragments

                                      The winter you were born,
                                      the metrodome caterwauled to its feet.

          You sigh in your sleep,
          sound of an exhaling balloon.

Warm yeast thickets of your neck.
Empty canoe of your mouth.

                   Little puddles.
                   Dim of midnight light.
                   To know the body has released the artifact.

You do not know how the sorrow-tones thread my heart.

                                      So not to wake the daughter,
                                      O clot my cold, a collar of snot.
                                      Two folds:  it comes away resembling lungs.




Reasonable Birth Choices

Please indicate which options you would prefer during your birthing experience.

1 ] Wet, wet. Yearning swirl of bathwater and float. Your partner’s hand can
press down, keep you from overflowing.

2 ] The audience with applause sign. It is how we cheer you on.

3 ] No salt on the wound. No oils, no ointments, no scents of any sort.

4 ] There is: wheelbarrow, monkey-squat, draw your finger through the dust,
ankle clasping, treble clef.

5 ] Peel away. Assurances through soft music. Ocean waves optional.

6 ] The distribution of popcorn is not required, though menu choices are
slim. The viewing begins in a few hours, and this machine becomes the
central line.

7 ] Blackened windows can be your mirror. Do not inspect below the belt line.

8 ] Slender mullet meal, little needle song.

9 ] Hypnotic breathing. Pufferfish have a pelagic life stage. Spawning occurs
near surface; eggs are spherical and buoyant. Keep you from overflowing.

10 ] Please place the creature on my chest. Please let the broth of me slick away.
Please sing humble songs of needles and knives and everything that shines.







I.  Midnight Party

It all starts with a girl on a pony                caught in public                         she’ll be a woman, spinning on a rope
                                                                                                                                            clamp in her teeth. 

Strong mouth—I bet she gives good—you know.            Curled up like a pellet          swing unstrung in the park

               Body a packet of seagulls             Chinese lanterns bobbing on a high wire      bashful when caught
pully at the planetarium walls                              Sleep    she sleeps   a porcine doll.


II.  Meshes of the Afternoon

paper poppy swung like a child                she dropped the key with intention           the bread a stumbling block 
          poppy’s the only one who can spy                   running in harem pants                               

   That hair! can call us                 keep out the key                                            veil :: mirrored face

I know, triangle              warning runs of cell

                                                  and then sea grass and then sand and then concrete and then the stain of carpet

you poppy, you damsel               broken mirror sea troubled foam                                    she weed




Molly Sutton Kiefer’s chapbook The Recent History of Middle Sand Lake won the 2010 Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press Poetry Award. Her work has appeared in Harpur Palate, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Berkeley Poetry Review, Comstock Review, you are here, Gulf Stream, Cold Mountain Review, Wicked Alice, and Permafrost, among others. She received her MFA from the University of Minnesota, serves as poetry editor to Midway Journal, and runs Balancing the Tide: Motherhood and the Arts | An Interview Project. She currently lives in Red Wing with her husband and daughter and is expecting a second child in February. She is at work on a manuscript on (in)fertility. More can be found at

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