c o n v e r g e n c e:
an online journal of poetry & art

EDITOR'S CHOICE: cynthia linville's

Kara Synhorst

Photograph by Lynn Crounse
Photograph by Lynn Crounse


by Kara Synhorst

I meet a girl at a party who is biking across Iowa.
Iowa? I ask.
Yes, her mother was born there, and she loves it.
Do you? I ask
and I can't keep the surprise out of my voice.

Later, I think of my visit.
It was humid, like a wet bedspread
out of the dryer at the Laundromat that
really needs one more tumble,
but the dryer costs a dollar, so you will
lug it home, heavy and hot and damp.

We were going to see my grandmother,
who gave me cookies and let me
pour sugar in unlimited quantities onto my cereal
from a diner-style canister, and who sang me
Patsy Cline songs, and who had a roomful
of treasures, like a tiny cabinet all for buttons.

But also, she was a tornado of narcissism
and drama, and everything that turned inward.

I got an award! You would yell. I am in the play!
and she would exhale and smile faintly and tell you
about Cathy's ex-husband's friend, who was arrested
but it wasn’t really his fault,
because the drama of petty crooks was exciting
and you, with your goodness, were not.

So I try to lift the humidity of my grandmother
off of Iowa, and I see rolling hills, green mossy walls,
little Craftsman homes on quiet streets, and it's true, corn.

And I see the butterfly gardens in Ames and the house
where my great-grandparents lived, but also the Walmart and the
Kum and Go, and the restaurants where everything
could be topped with sauce and cheese by ordering "garbage style,"
and I think of my mother's laughter, because we were leaving.
Leaving the corn and the humidity, and we would grab our
surfboards and grow our hair long and get tans
and go back to California, and we would eat tomatoes
and tofu and see Pier 39 and go rafting on the river
and we would sail and catamaran and see L.A. and go
to Disneyland and meet the movie stars and get
boob jobs and buy bikinis and wear flip-flops on Christmas


by Kara Synhorst

Between the Chevy's on Garden Highway
And the golden Tower Bridge,
Between Sacramento and West Sacramento,
Between the unlikely ziggurat and the country club,
There is a place where two rivers meet.
There is an unsteady line there,
Where the muddy slow north-south water
Meets the denim cold fast east-west stream.
The water mixes,
And yet, the line remains.
All flows to the ocean. All carries boats.
All hosts life.
All splashes under the birthday girl in the sombrero
eating her chile rellenos.
All fingers around the delta islands,
all erodes the thousand miles of levees,
all nourishes the farmlands,
all hitches through the Carquinez Strait,
all heads to the bay.
There is the line,
like when we hold our forearms together
to see if you are still darker.


by Kara Synhorst

Check out my ass!
I yell to my husband,
when I come home from the gym
in my booty shorts.

I believe I am beautiful
I tell my friends.
Well, I say to the students.
I know lots of people like long hair,
but I think it's daring to have it short.
Plus, I have the face to pull it off.

I had to come twirl for you today,
I tell my co-worker,
because I knew you would not want to miss
this fabulousness.

I put this out into the world
because someone might as well.
Someone average might as well
stand up for her magnificence
and say "yes, I am beautiful, too, wide nose
and moles and extra weight and all."

And also, because I sort of do feel like
I am beautiful.


by Kara Synhorst

On the toilet paper dispenser
Sits a rosary with wooden beads
And a wrapped, unused maxi-pad.
I wonder if that is the result she was praying for.

Kara Synhorst

Kara Synhorst

Kara Synhorst is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento, a high school teacher, a mother of a spirited 3-year-old, a wife, an adventurous home cook, a bass player, a reader, and — when she gets a moment — she is a writer. She has lived in Sacramento for her entire 35 years, never more than seven miles from her childhood home in Tahoe Park.

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