Kristin LaFollette – Exigence

Kristin LaFollette


The rhizome,

the collection of roots—

                                Branches, new growth—

                                               How can something so reliable

                 be bad?

The rhizome,

identity like a seed,

                                               all that is known

                 about the


If I am an animal, I only know it
because of the way                                         I take root,

the way I count

                                                         the combination                 of

                                tendrils gained and lost—

My life—to obtain water…

                                           How else could I survive when so
                                           much of me is lost to the cold and

                ice where
                my                                      body once was?

Someone spoon-feed me the flesh of fruit

                               saturated with granules of soil, nutrition

                                                                                         for nutrition—

My arrangement is different now,

                                                                             but I must know—
                                                                             Must know
                 how to make myself more like the things I dig up from

                 the yard,

                 the set of keys found near the telephone
pole at the end of the                                                  driveway—

Impervious to weather, yet full of rain,

                                             no concept of anxiety

                                or loss—


Kristin LaFollette is a PhD candidate at Bowling Green State University and is a writer, artist, and photographer. She is the author of the chapbook Body Parts (GFT Press, 2018) and has had her writing featured in the anthologies Ohio’s Best Emerging Poets (2017) and America’s Emerging Poets 2018: Midwest Region. You can visit her on Twitter at @k_lafollette03 or on her website at

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