Kara Goughnour

In sparkling whirls, the burning turns  

dark, grins the burnt-corked grin 

of all men singed, of all men still gripped  

by the whistling subway, the golden sprung  

of the fire lily against cream-tiled suburb,   

the luxurious spark of heel against muscle.  

The smoke whispers above, a faint perfume  

scented as the skin on the back of your hands,  

as buckling before the half-bent leaves,  

as our gentle hunger,  

as the infinite stir of every man  

under the dry rain  


Kara Goughnour is a queer writer and documentarian currently unpacked in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the 2018 winner of the Gerald Stern Poetry Award and has work published or forthcoming in Third Point Press, Riggwelter Journal, The Southampton Review, and others. Follow her on Twitter @kara_goughnour or read her collected and exclusive works at

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *