C. Kubasta, please don’t take offense as we make reference to, ahem, country music in reviewing your fantastic new collection, Of Covenants. The plainspoken, country-road cadence and homespun themes lean to AM, not FM, and yet the words, sounds, and rhythms are high-beam, A-team poetry. The author of another collection of poetry, All Beautiful & Useless, and a couple of chapbooks, Kubasta is a small-town Wisconsin native with an MFA from Notre Dame. She now teaches at Marian University in Fond du Lac, WI.
The Covenant of Traffic Laws
We call them country stops, these rolling stops. My brother once
not to wear out my turn signal on the back roads.
In the left-turn-only lane, I rarely signal. It is the left-turn-only
Turning right, I swing wide, crossing the dotted line.
The fricative’s malcontents: lips, teeth & tongue.
When “improperly signaling a lane change,” I think
I am one step closer to death. But then I think
my whiteness protects me. How dare I think that, I think,
I think, how dare I not think that.
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