Issue > Poetry
Cindy King

Cindy King

Cindy E. King’s work has appeared in Callaloo, North American Review, River Styx, Black Warrior Review, American Literary Review, jubilat, Barrow Street, African American Review and elsewhere. She has received a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Agha Shahid Ali Scholarship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas, Dallas.

Study in White

The sheriff grinds a breath mint between his molars,
his limestone thoughts are deep as the flooded quarry,
clouded as its water after a hard rain.

He passes a hand across his chin, the stubble

more salt than pepper now. Powdered with dust,
the squad car expresses his exhaust:

      donuts sugar its dash,
      a half-moon of ice wanes
      in a Styrofoam cup of bourbon.

An officer inspects her French manicure,
then stretches a latex glove to its limits.
Pages of her notebook flutter
in a failed attempt to fly from her pen.

Socks lose their grip on the pale fact of shins.
Boot prints brim with ruin,
near the quarry's milky shoreline.    


The hands of a watch meet at noon:


      a face goes blank,

      another loses its color

as a dark figure floats to the water's surface,
becomes tangible, like the sun's mouth, open
right before it bites through the overcast.

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