K.T. Billey

To Jupiter and His Orange Eye

Craning my neck from your porch swing
I watch the morning glory close her saloon,

right on cue. Would that we were all so consistent,
that we had a proper time and place. Something nice

to look at, off to the side. Observe an expert
introduction to an unbroken horse

before you lay hands on anyone else—
some of us need the peripheral approach,

the fistful of sugar and pressed silver
buckle. Someone to pretend we emerge

whole from every office. When the time comes,
I’ll fill your temple with leather-working tools,

everything you need to accommodate
slim autumn fashions. Cinch yourself together

with no other choice—you’ll get the tamer’s impulse.
Lend me your shoulder bulk and monocle squint,

let’s read the maelstrom. Massage that crick.
The paper can’t crinkle if we never recline.



K.T. BILLEY’s VULGAR MECHANICS (seeking publication) was a finalist for the 2015 Pamet River Prize from YESYES books. Originally from rural Alberta, Canada, her poems have appeared in CutBank, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Poor Claudia, and others. Her poem “Girl Gives Birth to Thunder” won Vallum’s 2015 Poetry Prize. A Contributing Editor for Asymptote, she translates from Icelandic and Spanish and lives in New York City.