Friday Apr 19

MoffettKelly Kelly Moffett is an Assistant Professor of English at Northern Kentucky University. These poems come from bird blind, a collection that will be released Fall 2014 through Tebot Bach. Kelly Moffett’s previous collections include Waiting for a Warm Body to Fill It (Cinnamon Press) and A Thousand Wings (Salmon Poetry) as well as a chapbook, Ghost Act (dancing girl press).   Her work has appeared in journals such as Colorado Review, Laurel Review, Cincinnati Review, and Rattle.  Visit her blog.

Day One

You taught me to read landscape
as if my own skin stretched to the horizon.

Trees crook as my arm, twist.
(I want to say: soothe me.)

When the flood comes, I hold on.

Parts of me break loose, rush toward the sun.
It happens so fast.

This is why I didn’t leave you a note.

On Foot

Chickadees pace the hemlocks all morning. A cold front comes in.
I see the storm from far off and watch as it takes away my view.

Regret moves in in this way. Frontal force and encompassing.

It’s the franticness of the birds that confuse me. They seem hungry
and everywhere they search seems to have no food.

When I climbed Mount Battie, I fell into a mud pool. I wasn’t scared.
(I am changed in that way too.)

In this letter, imagine that even the weeds are gray.

Water Notes

A snake travels the rocks like a dancer’s ribbon,
its tongue like every serpent’s tongue, my fear like all my fears.

The blue gill’s spot anchors where its arm should be,
dark as a tunnel I want to peer into.

Loons drag their crooked legs through the water.
When the crows come, I follow until each leave, cawing.

A couple stops their boat to cut weeds from their motor.
I know what they are removing, hydrilla. Long stalks

with leaves like a feather duster. Minnows travel them
early mornings and I’ve touched their waxy stems.

They, too, are non-natives.   At night, I think of them
wrapping my ribs, holding me under long enough to be brave.

Lake Sunday

The water plane then the dragonfly—everything
lifts this morning. Even the black flies do not want

to stay long in my hair. Your whistle and then
the echo of your whistle. The bullfrog sounds of foghorn.

I admit the angels then chew through the Aspen
as a beaver might. I want all of this height to fall.
I start with the trees.