trash exotica/roissy mcdonalds/red orange/radiant orchid

Kirsten Ihns

sufficiently decent pillow microfiber

child in a happy shirt gives his brother
a happy balloon

i am the             queen
of this trashcan
everyone looks in my eyes            then down
before they throw their things away

every city needs a service to destroy
its unattended objects

i propose they burn everything
except the plastic
said my fantastic
french hot carpool driver

he wants to move to réunion

& do their trash advising

he has excellent zippers
on his sweater

and a bathroom full of orchids


Kirsten Ihns is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and is currently a Ph.D. student and Neubauer Presidential Fellow in English Literature at the University of Chicago, where she studies texts that seem to want to be images. Winner of the 2016 Black Warrior Review Poetry Prize (judged by Hoa Nguyen), and the 2018 Ron Offen Poetry Prize (judged by Duriel Harris), her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Offing, inter|rupture, Bennington Review, Black Warrior Review, Yalobusha Review, BOAAT, New Delta Review, TAGVVERK, Sonora Review, theme-can, and elsewhere. This poem was written during a Stanley Grant-sponsored project in Bayeux, France, and she is grateful to the Stanley Grant for supporting her work. She is from Atlanta, Georgia.