When the Moon is New

he spurns flesh

and fur

to find form

in the songs

of women

     The old verses

in new throats

tear tender slits

     in the sky

Wet with leak light

stars she’s a slick

inconstant constellation

but in his grip

her lips can lure

a dark side moon

from the night

See Through Boxes

Torn out tongues in see through boxes –

tiny tags taped to the glass

dream, memory, reason, song

jaws swings at the joints


From the Asylum

This asylum was named for some do-gooder priest.

I bet he buggered boys and balanced the bones

on the tip of his nose, sucked them white

as these walls.

I’m a headstone, now,

in this graveyard.

Did you think I’d silent myself in this graveyard?

Or, confess myself clean to some sniveling priest?

You should know me better by now –

from heart beat to bones,

to the flesh you took – unbroken as these walls,

firm, bride white,

and willing.  Yes, bride white,

but shillings short of your station.

Tell me, is it somewhere unmothered within these walls,

or was there extreme unction by some paid for priest?

Where are they buried, those poor bastard bones,

those tiny fingers and toes sucked white?

I do not love you now.

I’ve had years to watch my hair fawn white,

and my bones are stiff as stones

in a graveyard.

I’ve outlived the buggering priest

and counted every crack in these walls,

the cockroach crawl of days across these walls –

time is short now.

The new, apple-cheeked priest

offered me paper, crisp and white,

so that I might write to you –

a letter to your dusty bones.

Well, what have I to say to bones?

I’ve already written it all on these walls,

the years of longing and love and loathing for you –

but it’s been painted over.

Everything is blind, unremembering white, now, blank and clean as the conscience of a priest.

Kelli Simpson is a mother and poet living in Norman, Oklahoma.  She has published poems in Lamplit Underground, Rabid Oak, The Avenue, Ghost City Review, and The River.