“The poems in What the Mouth Was Made For are mystical meditations, at once lyrical, tender, and profoundly felt, each poem flying directly into the heart. Indeed, if the heart had a mouth, these are the kinds of poems it would speak.”   —Nin Andrews

“In this new collection, Katie Riegel tends ‘what must be tended.’ Line by line, with clarity enough to sting your eyes, she rekindles that tender and slightly crazed engagement with life that shaped us before we got used to the world. I found myself unjaded for hours at a time. These poems are fresh food for the head and heart, which is what poetry should be–and what most of us desperately need. Get this book. Get full.”   —Tim Seibles

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From the book:


In a world without me, hundreds—no,

thousands—of people would have one less crush

in their lives. My friends

would have a name melting

in the back of their minds like a sugar cube,

a name they’d never learned but knew

despite logic. In a world without

me, stars would retreat

a short distance, considering their places

again; grass would stand watching

the road for something

to happen; trees would take

deep breaths and remain stoic.

Everything I love would be less

loved—and wouldn’t that

be a shame? Sometimes I think about

being a horse in a blue pasture, a hawk crying

my heart out to the wind. But I wouldn’t be

anything in a world without me, even less

than the first sweet molecules of hydrogen and oxygen

to touch your lips

when you tilt a glass of water back

to slake your thirst.