Mary Tautin Moloney

Two poems from Mary Tautin Moloney’s At the Base of Kaaterskill Falls

followed by a note on the author

At the Base of Kaaterskill Falls

My bathing suit is loose from accumulations
of ocean sand and laundry soap, soft and slack

in my hands like an offering. I am a new wife
hidden by the full length of my husband,

pulling off my pants in early autumn. The idea
to swim began with the light: low sun through still-

full trees. It seemed to hold the sudden depth
of water without a lot of questions about why now

or how long. On the morning of our wedding,
rain bounced from a winter sky. I had envisioned

the kind of current that carries. Still,
the man waited at the altar, like a stag stripped

from the Song of Songs. In the pictures, I appear
transformed, a pearl released and lifted

into grades of deeper water…I see him now
crouched near the surface. And there I am,

on the silent lurch of rock, a breath of a wife.
I stand at the edge, unable to separate falling

from a choice to fall.



interior landscape / fallen horse I

Snow falls on the fallen
horse, belly-down in a field.

Flakes fatten, arrowed for
breathing heat. More likely

freeze. Faces in profile
urge the body onward

to the blue railroad’s
rulered path. Or away

from broken slogans.
Always the ambiguities.

Black flecks dot the white
as if the horse could rise

up in pieces; as if it could
live as constellations do.



At the Base of Kaaterskill Falls first appeared in Tar River Poetry, and interior landscape / fallen horse I first appeared in The Florida Review Online.

Mary Tautin Moloney has an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has appeared in Quarterly West, Tar River Poetry, and The Florida Review, among others, and her manuscript, At the Base of Kaaterskill Falls, was a finalist in the 2019 Barrow Street Press Book Contest and the 2016 National Poetry Series. She attended the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 2012 and was selected for the 2015 Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo Residency fellowship in Cassis, France.

Mary works as a freelance instructional designer and is a volunteer mentor for Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Visible Ink Writing Program. Originally from Wisconsin, she lives with her husband and two children in Maplewood, NJ.