I am sleeping in the corner of your ghost house, Virginia.
Your Blitz-bombed house now a hotel full of rooms,
not of one’s own, but for a parade of never-ending strangers.
I rub my hand over your hard, slick head in the square,
wet with summer rain, your hawkish nose turned toward
the other bomb site, the metal bus a twisted bloom.
Dickens wrote Hard Times on the other side of the trees,
and I find that living here is hard and has no time
for idealistic, broke dreamers. He wrote Bleak House there, too.
I am stubborn, Virginia. I come back again and again
even as this city pulls me close and pushes me away,
in love with bellow and uproar; London; this moment of June.
Perhaps I should reconsider the scattering of my ashes,
commit them to the breeze that blows through Bloomsbury.
Make me fertilizer; plaster; eye grit; nowhere; everywhere.
– Collin Kelley
Appears in the current issue of Flycatcher Journal. Read more at this link.
I always loved you best at a distance
voice a faint radio signal
an image lost in television snow
The idea of you
perfect and acquiescing
sculpted, blonde and grinning
Then you momentarily resurface
tangible, flabby and older
one wrong word and then another
Now you live in another time zone
always behind me
stay in the west
- Collin Kelley