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…

The Hallway Of Burst Safeguards

The Pacific receives the river. Here the plume slips into bluer water. It splinters the sand. A feather floats, a child’s spoon washes in. Upstream where sagebrush edges riverbanks cradling Hanford’s gray halls, birds forage through grass broken as straw. Nancy Dickeman‘s poems and essays are forthcoming or have appeared in Post Road 32, Poetry…

To Love

When the priests, in their beads and capes stitched from feral hides, led me under the New England pines, they whittled the tip of a sawn limb         to gently press up through ribs, and the ventricular hollow, and on that spit, their meaty hands dipped me in the river, and as promised, I felt nothing…

Rambo’s Bohemia

And so I left, my fists tearing new pockets in a coat made of bullet holes. The sweaty blue sky ordered me to dream and I asked how high! Appleseed, John J. In ripped fatigues I scattered handfuls of blood no matter where I tried to go. Homeless most nights, I watched my stars slide…