Charles Kell


Kafka is somewhere in Kansas,
in a field, letting dirt sift
through his outstretched fingers.
He prays for a fox

to break the corn stalks,
for a cool stream to suddenly appear.
I plan to rent a gray sedan
to go looking for him.

I will bring the bees
asleep in a soft white box.
A copy of Ovid.
I know the song by heart,

the one cardinals sing in November,
before the heavy snow falls.
I am wings, cinquefoil.
We might rob a bank or sit

on the edge of some cliff
pondering the vast void.
The circus will be in full swing,
we will sip a wine

made to taste like fresh grasses.
Watch me throw salt-water
taffy in the air until it turns
into finches and they fly away


Charles Kell is the author of Cage of Lit Glass, chosen by Kimiko Hahn for the 2018 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize. He teaches in Rhode Island.




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