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  April 2012
volume 9 number 1
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  contributing poets
  Don Kingfisher Campbell
  Charles Claymore
  William Harris
  Dawnell Harrison
  Dan Hedges
  Kathleen Kenny
  Austin McCarron
  David McIntire
  Angel Uriel Perales
  Rishan Singh
  Jan Steckel
  Annette Sugden
  Jason Visconti
  Cindy Weinstein
  Gianna Wurzl
  mailing list
Jan Steckel
April 2012



photo by tess. lotta

    Jan Steckel was a pediatrician who took care of Spanish-speaking children until chronic pain persuaded her to change professions to writer, poet and medical editor. She is an activist for bisexual and disability rights. Her poetry book The Horizontal Poet (Zeitgeist Press, 2011) won a 2012 Lambda Literary Award. Her fiction chapbook Mixing Tracks (Gertrude Press, 2009) and poetry chapbook The Underwater Hospital (Zeitgeist Press, 2006) also won awards. Her creative writing has appeared in Scholastic Magazine, Yale Medicine, Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her work won the Goodreads Newsletter Poetry Contest, a Zeiser Grant for Women Artists, the Jewel by the Bay Poetry Competition, Triplopia's Best of the Best competition, and three Pushcart nominations. She grew up in West Los Angeles and lives in Oakland, California.



Fourteen Crossings

We chose rings of braided gold,
mine red, yours white.
Your sister filled our honeymoon suite
with yellow roses.

When we rumpled the sheets,
I twisted the ring on your finger.
You laughed and said
it felt like I was adjusting your settings.

It was fetish-wear for me,
kindling more lust
than any slipped sheet bend
around my ankle or wrist.

In the rose- and -sex-scented morning,
I found you bent over a sheet of paper,
diagramming your ring.
"Three strands! Fourteen crossings!"

With a topologist's glee,
you mapped the gold intersections.
I laughed at you until you
rose and joined me in the bed.

Like a Dark Age Irish scribe,
bent over his book of knots,
you drew me out
and illuminated me.

(previously published in Red Rock Review)

copyright 2012 Jan Steckel