Kyle Vaughn


Horn-blares, traffic-scattered

exhaust, birds migrating to

the lampposts:  I check


the train schedule, hope to find

a short wait, body to be

moving soon, passing

along through tunnels

and rail-crossings, thinking

of her mouth, darkly open

after a question


and my inability to say what's real—this

street, this station? 

these empty ears and

nausea? these cloudy

passengers?—ghosts that sprouted arms

to pummel the dark,

thumbs to excavate

the stone from a cherry.

God bellyaches over my doubt,


chokes me dry, threatens my blood.

Dares me enjoy the world,

taste the snowfall and trust

the ash and flame.

After all, why cast away


the ephemeral?:  corn husks cluttered

among my remembrances,

light trails of taillights,

severed telephones that disarrange our words.

Kyle Vaughn
Kyle Vaughn

Kyle Vaughn’s poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Poetry East, Confrontation, The Sentence, Poetry Midwest, and Firewheel Editions’ Introduction to the Prose Poem.  His prose has appeared in the National Council of Teachers of English’s English Journal, where he won the Paul and Kate Farmer Award for his article “Reading the Literature of War:  A Global Perspective on Ethics.”  His photography has appeared in Annalemma, and his book The Children of New Light, featuring photos and stories about the children of sex workers and the children of crematory workers in the Kalighat district of Kolkata (co-photographed and co-authored with Breanna Reynolds), is forthcoming in late 2012.  Kyle currently teaches Creative Writing and World Literature in Dallas, Texas.