Do you want to come in? Take a deep breath. The repo man is gone. All I had to do was show him My favorite gun And tell him about My conviction That a shame-faced galaxy Mutters a homily of return. The repo man will return With back-up So I promoted the orphan To vagabond. Why do you think they call it The chain of command? Writing out of fear— That razzle-dazzle Of shackles and manacles Makes angels cry, And, admit it, That’s what you wanted. My first angel came In a haze of Alice blue That emanated From a dulcimer she cradled But did not play. She did a little angel jig And turned away. I guess all angels are sad-eyed, Like you. Do you want to come in? Take a deep breath. Everything is about to happen.
I am taken with the hot animal
of my skin, grateful to swing my limbs
and have them move as I intend, though
my knee, though my shoulder, though something
is torn or tearing. Today, a dozen squid, dead
on the harbor beach: one mostly buried,
one with skin empty as a shell and hollow
feeling, and, though the tentacles look soft,
I do not touch them. I imagine they
were startled to find themselves in the sun.
I imagine the tide simply went out
without them. I imagine they cannot
feel the black flies charting the raised hills
of their eyes. I write my name in the sand:
Donika Kelly. I watch eighteen seagulls
skim the sandbar and lift low in the sky.
I pick up a pebble that looks like a green egg.
To the ditch lily I say I am in love.
To the Jeep parked haphazardly on the narrow
street I am in love. To the roses, white
petals rimmed brown, to the yellow lined
pavement, to the house trimmed in gold I am
in love. I shout with the rough calculus
of walking. Just let me find my way back,
let me move like a tide come in.
Copyright © 2017 by Donika Kelly. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 20, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.