ABIGAIL CARL-KLASSEN

Invocation

For the wound that is staying thank you.
For the wound that is leaving thank you.

When someone says that you are acting
mat Welt just smile and say thank you.

Anywhere blows are received and brutality is
revealed, take another please, thank you.

Don’t try to fix the electric fence because
prohibido el paso need not apply, thank you.

On behalf of the municipal education board’s
school of hard knocks downtown, thank you.

India, foster sister locked out of the kitchen, for
not snitching to Mother England, we thank you.

The assassin’s bullet bends toward justice but
immolation’s lighter fluid says no thank you.

The effigy is ablaze and it’s coming down on your
head, for the warning and illumination I thank you.

Mujeres de Juárez who carry dead jovenes and scream
*no mas sangre*, Santa Muerte says, *fuck you*.

For all those who left before me and to those who
stayed after me I will always be grateful, thank you.

 

Plainsong

[Valentine’s Day 2005]

Do you love me plain?
Mennonite road plain?

Pentecostal clothes
Old-time religion plain

One-eyed jack, cotton
Eyed Joe, pump jack plain

Barefoot and pregnant
Pink plastic razor plain

Talkin’ around the
Kitchen table plain

Convulsing mother shouts
*Sambalabosa!* plain?

 

My work has appeared in *Cimarron Review*, *Guernica*, *Post Road* and *Matter*, among others and is anthologized in *New Border Voices *(Texas A&M University Press), *Goodbye Mexico: Poems of Remembrance* (Texas Review Press) and *Outrage: A Protest Anthology for Injustice in a 9/11 World* (Slough Press). I won the Manitoba Magazine Publishers Association Award for Best Suite of Poems and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets 2015. I earned an MFA from the University of Texas El Paso’s Bilingual Creative Writing Program and taught at El Paso Community College and the University of Texas at El Paso.