Ashley Kunsa

Poem Beginning With A Corset

I had to be orphaned
from myself to banish

++++++ the brittle remains
++++++ of ambition. What

yearning would not
be winnowed from

++++++ the body’s surface
++++++ was sutured instead

to the ribs—and
there it bloomed

++++++ in spurious,
++++++ joyous disguise.


Poem beginning with Scales

mostly out of laziness, sea turtles can swim
as fast as humans run ++++++ i choose maine
for its whiteness when a crocodile’s mouth
is closed ++++++ for months i had thought
about the chameleon’s tongue, as long
as its body ++++++ how did I do playing
dead ++++++ the idea that led to this skin
peels backwards, comparatively sumptuous
a new skin always ++++++ growing underneath


Ashley Kunsa’s fiction, poetry, and nonfiction appear in more than thirty venues including Sycamore Review, The Los Angeles Review, Pembroke Magazine, and Summerset Review. She is Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT. You can find her online at or Twitter @ashleykunsa.