Catherine Kyle: Dear Phantom Children
WHY MILLENNIALS ARE SO HARD TO WORK WITH.
We who crack the geode crack the purple splinters too. We who cannot contain contentment only one tier deep. We who seek something other than gemstones—we seek the light within them. We who seek the circling molecules that shift like drifting koi. Orange and all asparkle, glimmer dimmer as they fade. We ache to follow through the portal unto truths unseen. We who are not content with the geode, cannot be content with the geode. We who seek a rupturing of geodes altogether. We know—the surface inner is a childlike placation. This world needs more than genteel buffing, more than vigorous polishing. Needs, requires overhaul. Our blood hears starlight in these stones. We want to crack and drink it. To swallow opal nectar, let its milk run down our chins.
BIRTH RATES DROP TO HISTORIC LOWS AMONG MILLENNIALS. HERE’S WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY ABOUT IT.
Dear phantom children
who hover near the futon frame
like lavender genies or wisps
of feathered incense smoke, take heed—
we get it. You enjoy the look
of daffodils and jello. It might be fun
to dress you as a puppy or a cub. We’ve pushed
our share of strollers watching neighbor ladies’
babies, and yes, the dappling of sun on plaid
and board book can be sweet. The thing is,
spirits, we can barely even hold each other—
our other hands latched to the railing of this speeding ship.
To those already here, well, welcome
to holey vessel. We’ll do our best
to patch it up before it’s sink or
kill. We’re trying not to polar bear
ourselves or leave you ice cubes
from which you’ll have to hop and
hop, precarious wayfare. Democracy,
the ultimate hair-tearing-out group project.
Humanity, the raft that everybody wants
to steer. For now, don’t worry, babies; look—
aurora borealis. Take a load off, babies; look
at Ursa Major rise.
Catherine Kyle is the author of the poetry collection Parallel (Another New Calligraphy, 2017); the poetry chapbooks Gamer: A Role-Playing Poem (dancing girl press, 2015), Flotsam (Etched Press, 2015), and Saint: A Post-Dystopian Hagiography (dancing girl press, forthcoming); and the hybrid-genre collection Feral Domesticity (Robocup Press, 2014). Her writing has been honored by the Idaho Commission on the Arts, the Alexa Rose Foundation, and other organizations. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Western Michigan University and is pursuing an MFA in Poetry through New England College. She teaches creative writing at the College of Western Idaho and through The Cabin, a literary nonprofit. Her website is www.catherinebaileykyle.com.