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Us Dirge

Kamal E. Kimball

Before she sits across the narrow table,
I tuck a moth’s wings like a note
into my pocket and the name of the moth
is longing. There is an antiseptic
hospice bed. A nurse’s hand is turning
down the sheet for us. A cracked egg,
blue as truth, falls to the flattened grass
from the nest of a bird made of glass.
When I turn the egg, a churning mass
of maggots has drunk the yellow yolk.

space break

Better to Burn

The red tip flashes
down, the thin relief, then
grey, then white crumbles
to a stamen of milk
in the air, ash in the bathtub,
then nothing.

I don’t expect callers
at my grave to lay
a burst of lilies because
I’ll burn my lips to powder.
I will not smolder long.

Whoever remembers me
will be reading, eating
peanuts with salt-grit fingers
smearing pages, smoking
on a fire escape, ashing
in the crack of the spine.

Kamal E. Kimball is a poet currently living in the Ohio River Valley. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Zetetic, Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal, Bone Parade, Literati Magazine, Indolent Books, and elsewhere. She works as a grant writer and a journalist.