Two Poems

Kathryne David Gargano

act 2 scene 4 [autumn]

A WOMAN sits on the floor downstage. from the catwalk it is raining. the rain does not reach her. an inch above her head water turns to air. real water must be used. real rain from real sky. not collected. no one has looked into this rain & seen their reflection. no one has wondered which wrinkles are their own & which belong to the water. no drop is too small for a crisis of conscience. A WOMAN must never see herself in the rain. it must fall slowly. it must make sound. the same sound rain makes no matter what surface it hits. tin. leaf. ocean. that is to say: what rain sounds like to itself. if A WOMAN were to open her mouth & hold out her tongue the rain must taste like rain (& the rain must never reach her). she must never know what season by the smell. something like heart. like open. the opposite of a storm barreling towards a house.

act 3 scene 3 [spring]

A WOMAN falls through a cleft in the earth and dies. no. dead. where dies & dying & died imply. the fall is the progression. she is alive. then dead. the way the sun is in one’s eye. then not. in the falling she knows. her name & the name of her lover. she remembers a stallion or perhaps three. old gods. springtime lopes across the stage & down into the pit. the orchestra hangs one note of their choosing. the note continues until A WOMAN is dead. then: breath. the way spring chases the flautist & then doesn’t. the way the play shows the audience a gun in the first act. the way they whisper amongst themselves: don’t worry. A WOMAN must never see the gun. clutched in her hand are the wildflowers she picked. use any flower so long as they are peonies. her favorite. they must scatter around her when she is dead the way the audience will gather in the lobby during intermission. the audience must never look at peonies the same way again. they visit a flower shop & stare at the petals & stems & think of A WOMAN they once saw. falling. they do not remember where. such is the nature of grief. the way a wind whispers along a forest floor. the same wind that follows A WOMAN. loops itself around her calves. her fall must be visible to the audience. it is the climax of the scene. do not use wires. do not push. that’s what A WOMAN is. it is not the fall that kills her. this is after all a performance.


Kathryne David Gargano (she/hers) received her MFA from the University of Nevada – Las Vegas and is currently pursuing a PhD in creative writing from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. She is the poetry editor for Synaesthesia Literary Magazine, and her work has been published in The Colorado Review, Lavender Review, The FEM, Indicia, Heavy Feather Review, and others.