Nance Van Winckel's fifth collection of poems, No Starling, is recently out from U. of Washington Press. She is the recipient of two NEA Poetry Fellowships and awards from the Poetry Society of America, Poetry, and Prairie Schooner. New poems appear in The Kenyon Review, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Southern Review, Poetry Northwest, Crazyhorse, Field, and Gettysburg Review. She is also the author of three collections of short fiction. She teaches in the MFA Programs at Eastern Washington University and Vermont College and served as the Stadler Poet in Residence at Bucknell in 2009.
She smokes & eats at the same time.
Her blue lipstick & black nails, her
‘darleeng,’ her long time in each
bathroom, as the bread gets broken
with nary a crumb for the polis.
Her sashays down hallways—so
almost us—a sea scum smell still
in her hair. Her damp. So nearly
like us, the more we pour into her,
the more we expect will issue from her,
say those the fifty ponies our host
feels sure he paid for her in a dream.
We palm her toothpicks
as keepsakes; her cocktail napkins
we can origami later into your lion
not one iota larger than my lamb.