the rind is the fruit’s obituary, composed ahead of its death


to open communication the way of kimchi
between the gut and the brain
                        microorganisms disrupting
the individual’s fiction                         yet again

how often the fact becomes the metaphor

that flaunts                  its veneer of sturdiness
what one might not undermind          
undermine       the femur on this leg of thought
still with room to lengthen     

the word seduces the letter from its alphabet
builds a landscape out of a typeface’s anatomy
limiting ascenders        limiting ascendence

the word tethered to domination

later we’ll travel          to see sea wrack
gathered like underwire at the base of the mounds
of sand             sea wrack for the shore’s rack 
ha        as laughter continues to write the biography
(biographeme) of a face

            still      they had become abbreviations
of themselves

                        orange rind in an orange mug

Kristi Maxwell is the author of eight books of poems, including Goners (Green Linden Press, 2023), winner of the Wishing Jewel Prize; My My (Saturnalia Books, 2020); Realm Sixty-four (Ahsahta Press, 2008), editor’s choice for the Sawtooth Poetry Prize and finalist for the National Poetry Series; and Hush Sessions (Saturnalia, 2009), editor’s choice for the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. She’s an associate professor of English at the University of Louisville and a 2022-23 American-Scandinavian Foundation Fellow. Kristi holds a PhD in Literature & Creative Writing from the University of Cincinnati and an MFA in Poetry from the University of Arizona.