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Kersten Christianson

KristinKersten Christianson is a raven-watching, moon-gazing, Alaskan. When not exploring the summer lands and dark winter of the Yukon, she lives in Sitka, Alaska. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing (University of Alaska Anchorage) and recently published her first collection of poetry Something Yet to Be Named (Aldrich Press, 2017). Kersten is the poetry editor of the quarterly journal, Alaska Women Speak.


In high school
our science teacher
opened each class
with the previous night’s
VHS recording: Dave

Letterman’s Top Ten
List followed by Stupid
Pet Tricks. As far as
anticipatory sets go,
this invited the rise

and ebb of a conversational
tide. Could a starfish
harness a seahorse?
Could a halibut control
the movement of an eye?

Would we ever guess
the grisly contents
of his fridge labeled
“Davy Jones’ Locker?”
For a drifting moment

he made me believe
I’d become a marine
biologist; he made
me believe I could be

The Geography of Grief

It’s a bit like a cauliflower, really,
no bend, all hardened parts, semi-

hardened parts, snap. It’s a bit
like a cauliflower, really, sitting

sedentary on the equators of a midnight
dark hallway, the one you stumble

through from bed to bathroom in search
of Kleenex. It’s a bit like a cauliflower,

really, uncooked, raw reminders
of the continent of loss, of loss, of loss.


You Choose Your Solitude

It’s easy to live with nothing

The kitchen without a table
the phone number
nobody calls.

Is it so easy?

In Klukshu the snow
curls and gathers,
blankets a far-flung

Is it so easy?

Yes. Cleave
your world in two,
the halves of a grapefruit
made whole. Your scrawled
name in the snow.

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