C.M. Keehl


Holding your breath without looking

 

There are exactly 3 ways to step from one room

to the next with no weeping.

 

Pinecones liter the earth

without remembering the same

way I looked down & saw scared knuckles

around my throat,

but didn’t fall.

 

The dog comes

sniffing for warmth,

& the absence of feeling

morphs with the compassion

once kept safe in your veins.

 

Remember that time you packed

my suitcase full of soft green sweaters?

 

I am white at the tips where you left me,

I am stick with a sweetness you'll never taste.


Haunt & Hunger Before You Wake

 

Sometimes I forget where home is, get lost in the shower

& find myself locked in your ribs

with the desperation of a prophet from Kansas trying

to get to Michigan

for lake-frozen rest;

I was there & you weren’t, you never

 

were when I felt the newsprint

turn to ash in my mouth & met

the demon in the icebox. It pinned me down, butterflied

me open but left me empty in the end;

there was nothing I could do but hold my lungs

full of words & pray to cauterize close.

 

I told you I was more than intrepid fingers thirsting on a Sunday,

you told me you were never going to disappear.


Bio

C.M. Keehl's poems have been published in several print and online publications, including Dirty Chai Magazine, Trans Lit Mag, and Welter