Neptune

There is a planet on his shoulders.  Are his shoes right?   Is his taste in movies cultured enough?     His jealously comes in rings. Dear Neptune, no one taught him how to kiss. No body-celestial was bold enough to enter his orbit. Poor blue, he’s never had a moon no satellite, no plaid clad asteroid bent…

Camille

after Camille by Edyta Salak She never felt like her name fit her, he felt the same. She lets her son dress up in leftover pastels, does not scorn him when he twirls in a dress only laughs and notes the skirt’s shape as it swirls. An opening flower, the pink of a cheek, her…

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…

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…

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…

After the Party Pantoum

Working that walk so hard it hurts, it hurts, walking home in someone else’s high heels. You were who you were before you came here— a small animal, wandering, a drink in your hand. It hurts, walking home in someone else’s high heels so leave them by the road, a small monument to failure, leave…

Nurselog Sprig

No one would call you shallow, your roots pincers in the bitter-scratch earth of your making— burrow-tip grips like rock-climbers ascending the face of their ancestors’ decomposed past. Who else but a parent would give up his hold on mortal ground to lie prostrate, yielding in slow disintegration? Wood rust and tang of uptake, your…

Gymnosperm

Evergreen upsides from naked seed. Even you, my little sapling, formed from a kernel that swarmed to find home in a wet and unprotected womb. Split seed, sweetlip hoist and tremble. Every tree fumbling in the shadow of parent stretches to claim its stake of the light. Jill McCabe Johnson is the author of two…