Poetry by James Kelly

Death and Poetry

it comes hard
& cold like your
guts being blown
through your jacket
on a snowy afternoon
or soft, like…
a pile of barbiturates
& a bottle of whiskey
sometimes you can actually see it
in a cop’s breath,
or the newspapers,
or catch a glimpse of it
in the sidelong glance
after a lover’s embrace,
sometimes it’s a car wreck unexpected
a skid & then the crash
& no good reason why you walked away
it isn’t there,
& then it is, as what it will replace
takes long walks through
concrete walls not knowing the
coldness of space,
as what you thought of as life,
was a yesterday of four forgotten
poems you wanted to write

*** This poem was first published on the author’s blog.


About James Kelly

James Kelly is a writer living in northern California. He’s been a journalist for Gannet and a travel book editor, and worked for the Forest Service in environmental planning in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. He lives and writes poetry by the Sacramento River and he’s working on a novel and book of short stories.