Issue > Poetry
Rogan Kelly

Rogan Kelly

Rogan Kelly is a writer and educator. His poems have been featured in Bending Genres, The Citron Review, Diode, Edison Literary Review, formercactus, Hobo Camp Review, Meow Meow Pow Pow Lit, Mojave River Review, and Shrew Literary Zine. His chapbook, Demolition in the Tropics, is forthcoming from Seven Kitchens Press. Twitter: jerzypoet Instagram: jerzypoet

Between Morristown and Maplewood


When the train cuts the engine and glides, air blowers cease, the fluorescent light drops out. The man behind me falls silent in deference. The incessant chatter of the half-empty car goes hum. Then it's just sunlight and shadow from these wrong-side trees mostly rooted, bent straight, defiant. The exposed backside of houses. Abandoned industry. The slowing click of tracks.

Withers Street, Next To The Greif Trucking Company


Above the coffee bean factory, she lived in a former warehouse. Her hands smelled of garlic, her lips tasted like gin. She cracked brown eggs into each other, splashed the bowl, cut over-ripe green figs balanced on her good leg. She ducked into the fridge and emerged halfway across the room with feta, a bruised peach, coffee pressed. She was a bright pirouette in just an apron. The bread, procured from a Brooklyn bakery, toasted with a blackened edge. The kitchen was a hodgepodge of pan and utensil, matching plates by print, not by color. The food leftover like me. The open windows brought in rainy light and the main road trucking route made for this reverberating hum to everything. I wonder if it is just midlife to worry and doubt. To be this rooted thing, prayer-less. When did I become the sort of man who keeps it all to himself? And what's her trick? Loving me so wholly at the breaking point of letting go. The sweet stench of espresso bean wafted up through the floorboards.

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