Summer 2023 • Vol. XLV No. 1 Poetry |

Naming the Supernatural

The Kenyon Review · Naming the Supernatural In which a mysterious and threatening helper is defeatedwhen the hero or heroine discovers his name* I prefer to communicate my truths through a table. O Medium, name me in candlelight, wood grain. I approach our distant childhood, eaten by bleach. Strangled in a basket of flowering weeds, grasses. I never learned how to tell the difference. Decades after, what happened to my body did not happen to me. A tangerine-hot comet furrowed the midnight blue, the deeper dark velvet of outer space. I hummed the vibration of an unknown planet, wound in the soft bandages of gravity. Even now, what I remember I retrace: the translucent rootlet fine as fur, clutching the dirt. This is how I map. I measure. The perimeter of a crater, a blast pattern, the equator of a sinkhole. How long I resisted admitting what I now know: your name, Patient, out loud. I do not want us to live whole lives in a room with the electricity cut. I know to no

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Maggie Queeney is the author In Kind, winner of the 2022 Iowa Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of the 2019 Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize, the Ruth Stone Scholarship, and Individual Artists Program Grants from the City of Chicago in 2019 and 2022. Her most recent work can be found or is forthcoming in Guernica, The Missouri Review, and The American Poetry Review. She reads and writes in Chicago.

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