Fever Snow and other Poems

Sick Wolf

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.

Fever Snow

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.