Issue 1 / Poetry

Poetry by Kate Lebo

Two poems by Kate Lebo

Ladies, This is the Final Rose




Ladies, This is the Final Rose
with help from ABC’s The Bachelor


To the one-armed girl on rollerskates he says
You have no reason to be scared.

She falls to prove her bravery.
This is not the same thing as fear itself.

The biggest possible piece of bull
is a flap of fancy leather.

While the Bachelor shoots women
I sit on a cushion

that was a warm animal once.


After my mother taught me the word
I saw forsythia everywhere.

Fifty miles of highway-side lit
with yellow weeds.

New season, coming up.


All my life I’ve wanted
other people’s flowers,

their spray of lemon
on a wet stone wall.

I didn’t plant those for you!
a man yells through his window

as I saw into stem with a thumbnail.





I call you into bloom
like a sponge that sucks gold
from stormwater.

What I understood of warmth
was punished from me,
so I make do as you

make do with me.

I cannot offer nourishment.
I cannot offer shade.
I cannot scream with this body

as you carry me into your home
and set me at the table like a flower,

like a prayer,
like a wife.

Where I repeat myself.
Where I grow ugly.

The year is too young to teach us much.
For a little longer, we must sit
with what we know of shame:

it cannot live in the presence of joy.
It too has a season.

Kate Lebo’s poems and essays have appeared in Best New PoetsNew England ReviewThe RumpusWillow SpringsGastronomicaPoetry Northwest, and other places. She’s the author of two cookbooks, A Commonplace Book of Pie and Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour and Butter, and many zines, including The Pie Lady’s Manifesto. More at

Image by William Neuheisel