Charles Kell


He stares into a whirring fan.
She curls in an empty tub.

Chase away the stutter between spaces,
wreck that litters the floor.

She cracks a knuckle, puts on
a George Jones cassette. He opens

the fridge, lights a cigarette. Says:
my father is in heaven, no,

he’s in the space floating above
the pavement. Mother is a moth

banging her head against the filament.
Flies tap the glass to escape.

Wet cotton trapped
in the grooved lid.

Charles Kell is the author of Ishmael Mask, forthcoming from Autumn House Press in 2023. His first collection, Cage of Lit Glass, was chosen by Kimiko Hahn for the 2018 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize. He is an assistant professor at the Community College of Rhode Island and editor of the Ocean State Review.

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