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Charles Kell

Self-Portrait in Wooden Chair

 

The back twinges from bend-

ing over to reach a metal

plate. Rations are mouthed

& chewed, prisoner fashion.

Each step to get here was measured,

clamped in a book gilded

with ornate gold curl. My hair

grows short. I take blame

for the words of the dead. Remember

what I said? Each night when

you’re alone think of my tongue

trilling this bone song. Broken

anchor. Electric wire. The real touch

felt below the thin fake skin.

 

 

Two Weeks with Don Quixote

 

                  1

 

We’re riding toward the hill, built fast

with machines braided with many

moving parts. Down the well our arms

wave like wings, catching little pebbles

in the crook of the nail. Stick close

to the armor. The nag needs oats.

The princess, he whispers, wears pink

 

                             2

 

underwear. This string stings if tied too tight.

Toward the end he made a constant

clucking sound. He touched my shoulder

while staring straight into the ground.

The sea is vast & wide with many floating colors.

We move our arms quick as to fly away.

The sea is vast & wide with many floating colors.   

 

 

Charles Kell is a PhD student at The University of Rhode Island and editor of The Ocean State Review. His poetry and fiction have appeared in The New Orleans Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, IthacaLit, and elsewhere. He teaches in Rhode Island and Connecticut.