Poetry by Austin Kinsey


Imagine for a moment, if you will,
your body one hundred times its size
with skyscraper legs and
redwood arms;
Now imagine
the Earth as
your playground.
Run your heavy hands under its
waterfall faucets—drink the rivers dry.
Pinch a street corner
and lift the concrete up above your head
like a dusty rug—
you can heave it back down and launch
dented cars like Hot Wheels off an asphalt wave.

Three Giant’s steps and
you can stand in the desert—dig
the pyramids out of the sand and
grind them in your palms and
scrape your fingernails clean;
Toss the grains into the night.
Now sit, if you will
for a moment, a lifetime
to see
the spackled ceiling you have painted.
Feel it move, feel it breathe,
Watch it
as it watches you—you,
the ruler of a marble in a game of jacks,
cracking across the galaxy.


This is my town. I can close my eyes and lay this city out in my mind like a map. Unfurl the paper, pinch the creased edges—I can walk between the etches of ink.

See all of my places. Mark the roads, alleys, street corners. Circle the field where we buried our time capsule—our magazines, our action figures, our baseball cards, sleeping through the years. Push a thumbtack into the bridge where I smoked my first cigarette. Suck in my nerves, suck up to the cool older kids. I can take a pen and trace the river that flooded its banks, spilling through my basement window. My father is knee deep in July water. A hula hoop bumps against his thigh. He has been crying. “It happened pretty fast, huh?”

The map is becoming blurry.


When you drive into the Rockies,
There is a tunnel no more than a mile long
with arched amber ceilings
and cars that beat an asphalt song

A stone and brick pathway it stands—
made from the mountains
it slices through,
shuttling people from city to land

It’s strange to think of the possibilities
of avalanches, rockslides, tectonic shifts—
nature-born attacks falling like demi-gods
on miniscule toy cars.

At the end of the tunnel there is a light that stings your eyes,
a soft reminder of your journey into the snowy peaks.

Austin is a recent graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, and hopes to teach English somewhere on Earth.  His work has appeared in Five 2 One magazine.


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