Katherine Riegel

Mind Like the Sky I’m looking for the flash pointof the mind, where my thoughts’ vapor ignites and burns away—just for a moment—so I can findpeace. It lasts that briefly, flame-like and cleansing, and sometimesan hour of stillness does not bring it, like six hours of driving barelybrings me home, or at least backto where home once was, in the middleof the middle of the country, farfrom cities and flat as hell,according to my father, who grew upin the hills of Pennsylvania and was the first person to introduceme to meditation. I drove those hoursmonthly when my sister was sick, chewing gum and drinkingiced tea to stay awake, still resistingthe machine to help me breathewhen I was asleep, so ugly and unromantic. My sister dyingsurrounded by the cornfieldsdidn’t blowtorch my monkey mindthough it was winter and loss bitcold at my fingers. During her illnessit was all jumbled blocks of timeand worry and text messages between those of us who loved her.She never wrote a will. She nevertalked about her death. Sometimesshe was the most enlightened personI had ever met, sometimes the least.I don’t know what I expect—mind like a coffin, mind like the sky. Katherine Riegel is the author of Love Songs from the End of the World, the chapbook Letters to Colin Firth, and two more books of poetry. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Offing, Orion, Poets.org, Tin House, and elsewhere. She is co-founder and poetry editor for Sweet Lit. Find her at katherineriegel.com.