Keetje Kuipers

In Medias Res

The ocean is a fist, inside of which I
am allowed to be heartbroken. From here,
the collarless dogs on the beach don’t look so unloved.
Or, if they are, they don’t seem to mind.
I can’t hear the church bells or train whistle—
they might not be sounding at all.
And the little caps on the waves beat against me
in flickers like wings of cabbage whites.
I can love any part of myself: arms
with salmon belly undersides, ears full of sand, fish-ladder tongue.
Of course I’m drowning. I meant it that way.


Keetje Kuipers was the 2007 Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Resident, and from 2009-2011 she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Keetje was the 2011-2012 Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College, and is now an Assistant Professor at Auburn University.