Maybe you would like a poem humming
soft like a body caught under rubble.
Maybe a poem that could catch you
as a breath does before sleep. A poem
to dance to, twirling choreographed in a perfect
square of light shining on the kitchen floor
before breakfast. What I would do
to give that to you. Who I would kill
politely, for the sake of something good
& fair & just & right. Instead, I will
give you the child who rode his bike
wild & bony over the cracks of the sidewalk
somewhere in the city & the memory
of my mother, who, half-naked & still pretty,
smiled before shooing me out the room
when I surprised her with her coffee.
I was just a boy. I didn’t know what
or who I was, that there were things I was not
supposed to see. There’s still so much to learn.
A body can be a song you mouth to yourself.
A body can be a painted chair. The anxious
trembling of a mind afraid of dreaming.
When I am scared, I think of my mother’s skin.
Her eyes, soft gazing through Folgers’ haze.
You can be in love, & fail, & still find
something or someone to go back to. In everything,
there is a kind of returning, a whiskey dusk,
& in this dusk crumbles a rubble upon which
teeters a crooked mirror & through that mirror
sings the hum of each of us trying to find
ourselves & in that hum burns the faint play
of both rhythm & light & this play of doubt
is what I call living & this living is not good,
not bad. No, this living is all we have.
By Devin Kelly