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Selected Poem

Clinical Trial: Human with Wings

Patient-Reported Outcome

Day 91

The condemned men must find me
the unlikeliest of angels, sitting next to them
after their last meal of fried chicken
and sweet peas. Or over-easy eggs
and toast. A single olive with the pit
still inside. It's where I spend most of my time,
comforting murderers. Everyone wants
to feel of use. After the chaplains and mothers
have gone, I try to sort the prisoners'
earliest memories, like petals into cupped hands.
Soon the guards are Bradford pears.
And caged out, I pray before their walk
to the death chamber, pray the cold row
blooms into an esplanade of cherry trees.

Surgical Wing


“The flocks of fantastical or damaged anatomies in Kristin Robertson’s debut collection of poems, Surgical Wing, beguile us in equal measures through the haunted reach of their perils and promises. Whether Robertson’s speakers choose a gun safe made to mimic a cuckoo clock, paint a porch pale blue to ward off ‘haints,‘ or dare to feed emus behind a sign that reads ‘We Bite,‘ these steely Southern Gothic myths conjure a powerful compendium of bodies marred and metamorphic.”
 —Anna Journey

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