Karin Gottshall

I wanted to make a dress
from the hotel curtains. I wanted
to keep a diary. All those delicate bridges
and the cathedrals like the insides of flowers.
I slept alone in a man's pajama top.
The map didn't mind being held
upside-down: it was shaped like a fish. Once
I passed two women talking. Iris
is fourteen today, the tall one said, and I
thought of Iris all night on the train. How painful
to be fourteen. In the morning I couldn't
find coffee and I did my laundry using strange coins.
In every church Mary held her white hands
open. Doors wide to the wind. I stood
by the side of a river whose name
I've forgotten, and for once
the stars were right where I'd left them.