Grips Are Fleeting Things

1 You are sour. We sit soaking in the school fire sprinklers listening to the music playing in our heads. We almost fuck. But you leave and I spend the rest of my life wondering. 2 Your hair is black like oxidized, polished iron. Blades curved deadly across crown. Brave fingers pull it back in…

Los Carneros Rd

My friend knew a cloistered group in Berkeley who made acid. We drive 3 more people up to the Bay to get to another show another couch all huddled in the back of my Corvair, Poi Dog Pondering on the tapedeck. We spend what is left of night in People’s Park, wake up, get in…

Postcard to Hugo in Port Townsend

You live in a time when a poet can say This is my soul, the salmon rolling in the strait and salt air loaded with cream. Can say take others by the hand: we are called people. 2016? No way. Not your fish. Not your air. Nobody’s just people. I want a guide but the…

Sewing Lesson

In Monopoly I would play the thimble, she the top hat. Take me for all I have. Take me to jail. In the world of the blind, one stitch is impossible. Every time a butterfly net is sewn an angel gets trapped, suffocates in the netting, drops to the stones, festers. Mark my words with…

Humans Taken Hostage in Dog Park

A pack is following in a circle, a hierarchy beginning with scent. I am on a park bench. A humane society is one. A human society is another that remembers pairs of startled irises reflected in high beams. When we approach sleep, we draw a perfect circle, a string tied from our bodies to the…

Nesting Song

We thatch ourselves off from the day with salvage, the color orange, pieces of twine, spread into a floor, a ceiling. Your feathers on my tongue, we glide on updraft, on thermal. Flutter in a rounded space. Pluck what glints. Fold it into home. *Originally published in Stone Highway Review (edited by poets Mary Stone and Katie…

Empty: Post–

Katy E. Ellis grew up in Renton, Washington, and is the author of three chapbooks: Urban Animal Expeditions, Gravity (a single poem), which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and Night Watch, winner of the 2017 Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award. She studied writing at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, and at Western Washington University. Her…

Enter: Post–

Katy E. Ellis grew up in Renton, Washington, and is the author of three chapbooks: Urban Animal Expeditions, Gravity (a single poem), which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and Night Watch, winner of the 2017 Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award. She studied writing at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, and at Western Washington University. Her…

Spiral: Pre–

Katy E. Ellis grew up in Renton, Washington, and is the author of three chapbooks: Urban Animal Expeditions, Gravity (a single poem), which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and Night Watch, winner of the 2017 Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award. She studied writing at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, and at Western Washington University. Her…

June Cleaver Nails

There are days when the only way I make it is to put on a dress, pearls and step out into the world like I have it all together, like every mascaraed eyelash is in place, like if someone walked into my house they would see perfectly parallel vacuum lines. My short manicured nails, cultured…

Land of Alkali and Chromate

Erie with its dead fish in the ’50s, the Cuyahoga River burned. Air was filled with chartreuse particles and the earth wore a witch’s lip around ponds of sulfur, salt, a burbling grey soup waiting for my father to fall into. He grabbed at the slippery sides in the dark, muck sucking his shoes off….

Entanglement

He is the quince and she is the sparrow trapped in his snarl, his heart of thorns, jangled twigs. No easy way out. Or rather, she is the quince and he is the sparrow craving the nectar of her locked blossoms, crimson on the bud. Egress? There’s always flight. The sky is where he left…