He’s the most amazing &
already they take him, fate
beautys up the mirror, wonders
how ever one gets used to tighter.
I wake alone & say Jack
until I lose & the white
of my eyes vibrate & blood
drips in rios down my nose.
Almost a model, food-
trays slip through the tiny
slit an effort to ingest, down
25 lbs. feeling born all over again.
They try in every way to reach
you. They flatter, they promise
you things they can never give.
In silence you sit not even nodding
your head. At night pedal
an invisible bike. Day paces
like dinosaur string sticking
to the wall. New larva. Draw
a shovel over your bed. Draw
a hole. Draw a blonde girl wearing
a short skirt. Draw cloud city.
Draw just enough so you can see
the edge of her white panties.
I move slowly fingers over
my hip bones, ribs, skin is so
so white & clear. Hair unkempt
like it that way. With a pen missing
its shell (so not to hurt) I write
a letter to you then rip it to shreds.
I start over and describe the apples
in my dream. I mention my blonde
girlfriend Lindsay, my fingers always
moving. Your eyes like two Jupiters
floating over me before I fall off to sleep.
Charles Kell is a PhD student at The University of Rhode Island and editor of The Ocean State Review. His poetry and fiction have appeared in The New Orleans Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, IthacaLit, and elsewhere. He teaches in Rhode Island and Connecticut.
A conveyor belt delivers mutton and fowl.
Hot meringues suffer and collapse
under my ruthless fork.
His breath tripped over words stuck between his teeth
and tongue as sinewy shoulders curved.
The child stood, small, shivering in her tattered brown coat,
a dented, scuffed brown suitcase gripped in her hand.
mushrooms, beets, carrots, cabbage,
uncle’s ashen face.
Light drips on the handle of our cups.
Mine is dark blue, hand
Crafted by a lady I met
Once, in Kentucky. It’s filled
With Camomile tea. No sugar.
You sometimes wonder about
Pangea, the supercontinent
that existed 300 million years
I miss driving with you at
night, sometime past safe,
our lips still wet with
When he had finished writing, and crossing out
and standing and rewriting, and looking
out his window, and feeling the sun
I stood and watched you sleeping, had
stood there watching for nearly five minutes in
the shadow of the
hallway for nearly five minutes of circus
time before I dropped your purse on the chair, quiet as death
If I could, I’d use
my recently purchased cell phone
to call the pay phone outside
the community swimming pool
in Fairview Park, Normal, Illinois,
that summer when I was eleven,
and the country 200.
It was the night we were told we couldn’t pretend we were Catholic.
The priest turned only toward you and said, “It’s between you and God.”
And you cried.