PLACES I RULED
Erin Kirsh

I once was the queen
        of the monkey
bars, chicken
fight champion, bester
of boys, strongest
arms, grip, resistance
         to blisters.

I was also the queen
              of the trapeze
but I never flew nor followed
parabolic trajectory

I once was the queen
      of water
bottle bongs and bygone
brain cells     and the waxing
                        phase
          of destroying things
for fun.

and I am now no
kind of royalty
at all, singular and unrelatable
    and slotted uncomfortably
in the middle. I wonder

where these kingdoms went,
how I could begin to excavate,
rezone,
rebuild,
how my memories taste like myth      
in my mouth.


Erin Kirsh is a writer and performer living in Vancouver. A pushcart prize nominee, her work has appeared in The Malahat Review, Arc Poetry Magazine, Geist, and more. Visit her at www.erinkirsh.com.