Things Are Going to Remain Wet for a While

Lucinda Kempe


Wake to a person entering your kitchen. You are in the closet with a sixteen-inch Sabatier, the one your mother used to wield. You can see her.

No back story. No memoir. Keep it moving.

This man shifts through drawers. Rattling them. He opens the fridge, takes out the porcupine you found on the road and brought in to examine when you were in a quieted mood. He has got it on the table now. What is he going to do?

Been done to death.

Dreams. Like backstory. We don’t want to read it anymore.

The house is a sepulcher. Not a thrum. Just this stranger. This gumshoe plundering your ware, rooting, loosening, cataloguing your goods. What could you offer now? You have seen him before.

He’s in the panty waving a turnip. He is a mahi-mahi swimming in gravy.

You hold the Sabatier by its scales.

It is sailing. It soars. It nosedives.


Lucinda Kempe’s work has been published or is forthcoming in Elm Leaves Journal, New World Writing, b(OINK), Frigg, r.kv.r.y., The Summerset Review, and Jellyfish Review. The recipient of the Joseph Kelly Prize for creative writing in 2015, she’s an M.F.A. candidate in writing and creative literature at Stony Brook University. New World Writing nominated her for a Pushcart in 2017. She has just completed her memoir.