Keetje Kuipers

Just Outside

Not loving is the new loving.
Dogsbody about in the filth of it
if it helps you feel

any closer to the thing. Walk
to the park and watch the men
turn to each other

under the scythed leaves
of the eucalyptus trees, finding
brief solutions

to the brevity of their desire.
Ask the sad man you insist
on lying with

to comfort himself with your
skinny-breathed shivers
and the cold

place they come from. Meanwhile,
go nowhere, do nothing,
grow your hunger

like a root: below the surface
where it’s safe to rot. What else
can you expect

when your wants exceed
your needs? Every motion
wasted, every touch

dying just outside the place
where anyone might find
a way to enter.


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.