Charles Kell πŸ”ˆ


Here, inquisitor, the banks teem with red ants.
There are steps that crumble

where one’s foot falls into a black lake.
I repeat, eyes grow so heavy

they become hoods. I admit to chewing sand
& biting computer chips. Come back,

inquisitor, I promise to prop my eyes
with stems. There is no Internet. We’ll ferry

to the other side on a raft of ants.
I have plastic in my teeth. The staff is a curtain.

The book is a lamp. I haven’t slept in years.
I itch. The water is snakes. My name is written

on the dissolving steps.
I can’t see, but I hear you inching away.

Author Reading

About the Author

Charles Kell is the author of Ishmael Mask, just released from Autumn House Press. 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.