The Fish


your sweet faces
saying thanks okay
to the day getting
started now
The reflection makes us
as above so below
each scale flashing
with the sun. The morning
does not switch on
like a light. The plastic kayaks
make such ridiculous
rafts I imagine
the river saying
what about it, turning
its face away
toward the other view
From the underside
the river holds nothing
I know about

The Wives of Geniuses


are not real wives
In the rain
they open
the window
to hear the ticking
shape the street

There is too
much to say
about bread
In the sink you
could lose
a ring or the texture
of your very hands

White Clover


the leaflets of which I would call
            green with a white
lace streak through their bulb

shape. Uncontrolled
            as these things are
rampant up the mountain

of my imagination.
            A painful thing
which later doubles.

I’m not so post-narrative
            as to forget the sheep
or their wool, or the dress’s

slack sack shape
            I so covet. The clover
cover the cemetery

behind the school not
            the one in the painting.
They both face

the bay. The stone dove
            in her concrete smell.
The cruel turpentine.

I might lie about the oils
            which is the problem with clover,
the floreted beds the bees

suck and unsuck
            with their tongues.
History undoes it.


Katherine Gibbel’s poems have been published in Bat City Review, The Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast Online, Tin House Online, and elsewhere. She has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa and Victoria University of Wellington. She holds an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.