Proclivities by Kate Lutzner


It’s tempting to pine for the past, dream-life and everything
pinned with flowers, like a homecoming lapel or an early
love who wore it, or watching Children of a Lesser God
while being sexual for the first time. This I would describe
as having had a difficult time with my body, but then you’d
know too much. The center of the room was what I focused
on, like a sun or a set of stars in some formation I was familiar
with. Orion is my favorite constellation, or is it Orion’s belt.
Some girls I might say hi to made a video of getting your first
period and they’re becoming famous. Jealousy sits in me
like a set of teeth you’ve fitted and returned. I go back
and forth with it. How I love to escape into what went
before, a time when I didn’t even know most
of my boyfriends, when I’d never had promiscuous
sex with strangers. Again, I’m telling too much.
You probably want to know what’s in my heart, that organ
that beats and swishes and I have no idea what else
it’s good for. Just like scientists can’t decide if a cat’s
purr means it’s happy, the heart has never been proven
the exact location of ecstasy or grief.
Kate Lutzner’s poetry and stories have appeared in such journals as Antioch Review, Poetry Magazine, Mississippi Review, The Brooklyn Rail, BlazeVOX, Atticus Review and Rattle. She has poetry forthcoming at Barrow Street. She was awarded the Robert Frost Poetry Prize by Kenyon College and was the recipient of the Jerome Lowell Dejur Award and the Stark Short Fiction Prize. She holds a J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from City College.