after I was diagnosed       &         my friable red gut leaked blood like a new animal I’d grown

I came home to learn how to sleep & to name Crohn’s & you should ask someone out to coffee

everyone said         &       an ampersand looks like a pregnant belly the famous writer said

&         all the sick poems I read had lovers in them kissing the belly          &

their mouths linked as if by a blue stone          &        the water kept electrifying me

mildly as a penitent angel         &       sometimes I pray to thunder to be anything but what

I am    &      someone says to me there is nothing more universal than the love poem   &       I

find out the woman who once lived here stuffed steel wool in all the outlets    &      her husband

died shortly after      &       it was to drive out the hunger of small mice     &        you never know

the right man will change your life people told me       &       once I walked through

an unfinished house    &      left a message on the bare lathe a coiling dragon with my name

in its claws    &       I set traps around the house      &      my life was not complete until I met

& don’t worry the pain of being single is not forever & how many times have I risen at night


for god      &        I can convince no one there is no pain in what I am     &        the black sky

splits open godhead      &      I fashion lungs out of my breath on the window   &     how many

times has the female god come down   &     lain next to me wrapped her arm around my side &

there is no set of jeans to hook my fingers into & there is no mouth filling with cum & my


is a hammer making stars deep in body   & the couple next door fight & fuck beneath the deer

head mounted on their wall &   I once found a mouse the cats killed   &     licked the skull clean

to bare bone     &      am I staving off death if there is no one on top of me       &

scream a white candle litany       &   my chronic body turns over          & in the dark mouse

backs snap in half

Kelly Weber

KELLY WEBER holds an MFA in poetry from Colorado State University. She is the author of the chapbook All My Valentine’s Days Are Weird (Pseudo Poseur), and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Mud Season, Entropy, upstreet, and elsewhere. She has been a finalist for the Frontier Chapbook Prize and Two Sylvias Chapbook Prize, and her work has nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the AWP Intro Journal Award. She has received professional support from the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference workshop and served as an editorial assistant for Colorado Review, and in 2020 she will have a Sundress Academy for the Arts residency at Firefly Farms. She lives in Colorado, where she enjoys exploring the outdoors. More of her work can be found at

Contributions by Kelly Weber