Inverting the Winter

poetry 0
Kasey Jueds


with lines by Louise Bourgeois


For a lifetime I have wanted
to say the same thing. Daubing red


paint against the sky, taking it away
in a different print. More blue then.


Laid down amid the shapes that mean
lake, mountain, house until the spaces


between them tremble and flush
with color. Over and over


the etched plate pressed to paper. Nothing
is lost. Inverting the winter tree


so branches become roots, burrowing
the mute earth. So roots become


branches, cradling a woman’s face.
Breasts press outward from


the trunk, her pelvis nestles where roots
descend. It was a subterranean,


unconscious land that I longed for.
Over and over the paper’s parched skin


opens to drink in pigment, ink. Over
and over the tree’s stripped limbs


stroked with crimson. Now they reach
in every direction, rouged. Now


for the sky behind them. Now for the blue.

Kasey Jueds’s first book of poems, Keeper, won the 2012 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press. Her written work can be found in journals including American Poetry Review, Crazyhorse, Narrative, Beloit Poetry Journal, Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, Ninth Letter, and Pleiades. She lives in Philadelphia with one human, a spotted dog, and many houseplants.