Back to Issue Eighteen.

Water Damage



not quite a block away from yours
you notice

the boarded-up house as you navigate

ice / the fire and the young woman
went up

/ that same early morning you woke

just after the image / a woman in
a nightgown

clutching an ice pick / but now you

carry garlic / shallots / salmon in
a brown paper bag

in sleet / the gap between want and

need narrows / her neighbors in sleet
tote cardboard

boxes to a U-Haul / to the ashen road

/ the rattle of dishes / your sheltered


Inside Out



memory-fatigue / but you’re too

impatient to gather / bury / wait
/ wait even longer / exhume and

bleed the lesser toxic gingko seeds /

their human-like sick stink sickens
you / so you ingest onions and garlic

instead / in awe of anything under-

ground you find root and salt cellars
reassuring / also cemetery grounds /

but their churches have an inverse

effect / the image of them will return
/ return to you ablaze in the middle

of the night / and you will be helpless

outside / afar / unable to reach any
of the icons inside / why you must

continue to find faith in mirrors

Kevin McLellan is the author of Tributary (Barrow Street, 2015) and the chapbook Round Trip (Seven Kitchens, 2010), a collaborative serious with numerous women poets. The chapbook Shoes on a wire (Split Oak Press) and the book arts project [box] (Small Potions) are both forthcoming. He won the 2015 Third Coast Poetry Prize, and his poems have appeared in American Letters & CommentaryColorado ReviewCrazyhorseKenyon ReviewSalt HillWest Branch, Western Humanities Review, Witness, and numerous others. Kevin lives in Cambridge, MA.

< Previous (Gabriel Welsch)

Next (Ruth Foley) >