Fever Snow and other Poems
We saw a shadow
twitch behind a dying
tree. You said
it was a sick wolf hungry
for our bodies
& we should run.
It was nothing I thought
as sweat beaded
my back. I tried to catch
up but you were too fast.
I held raw bacon
in your kitchen once
& it felt like this.
Eyebrows singe, caught
again in this genre
of genitals, masquerading
as Socrates fall down.
Therefore, nonchalant, rhythm
of drops hit the deer-shot-
tongue. Tripped over a trick
-wire crimson. This mannequin
head takes off. While we swirl
yesterday’s coffee grounds
between cheek & jowl, the river
runs, Scythians double spread-
eagled under a dumb sun.
Here’s the barbarian’s bow & arrow.
Listen to the edible shell.
Here’s the monster’s melted helmet.
Do not eat the grass anymore.
Behind White Curtains
Here is my soft deer whisper.
Wings flutter on the steps
of our tiny scaffold. The music
we make is thousands of years old.
Despite the amputation you persist.
Despite the frost, sleet crowning
your hair with white specks,
curtains for your eyes. Behind
them I hold this lamb for you.
Hear its story run in the cold night.
This is the song the lamb sings when it’s scared.
The train whistle my lips make.
A boxcar full of wet cotton.
One by one he vanishes, part
of a long line I don’t remember
falling around, covers the open
book please close your eyes,
scaffold with wood shavings,
uneaten lunch pummeled by flies
breath upon the living, make this passage
easier by covering up make the sun
leave you alone by turning
your head, I know what I do hurts
me, do you see it in the distance
still there only difference it’s moving
closer, cover the head cover the eyes
cover the back of the neck, pointed
away no reprieve, serrated edges
wet blade of grass, never never never,
plainsong, augur, bone, wind over violet wire
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.