Squall – a poem by J-T Kelly


I walk into a house I do not want.
My friend lives here. Dried flowers, stenciled prayers,
A jar of pasta shells dyed red — I hunt
For any living thing. She comes downstairs.

She wants to make a cup of tea for me
Before we go. She wants to give her house
To me before she dies. She wants to grouse
About death with her friend good naturedly.

I want to spread the butter on the scones.
I want to pour the milk into the tea.
I want to fix the marrow in her bones.
I want to spit in mud and make her see.

At once I’m lost. A wind blows shut the door.
I drop my tea. I weep. We clean the floor.

J-T Kelly is an innkeeper in Indianapolis, Indiana. He lives in a brick house with his wife and five children, his two parents, and a dog.

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