I’m summoned to a hunger, and in particular waves.
I remove my clothes under the lake water.
The lake springs from unknown pipes.
Invisible valves set house after house on fire.
Each of our souls is as dry as leather.
Somehow, I’ve lost my shape, my shape
Would be lovely if it weren’t made of skin.
I towel off violently and hum in the lakefront heat.
Now I’m embarrassed and you’re embarrassed.
My heart is beating and your heart is beating.
All this nature is erotic as fuck.
Designing desire is much like the divine,
Beyond the particular, the undoing of the particulate,
A clean and shattered plate.
The present cannot be opened from the inside.
You say, “Mama, I want God.”
And, “Let’s go for a walk!” in the way of oncoming cars.
My personal life doesn’t concern you.
I can’t quite link one thing with another.
An hour is a series of holes in the snow.
Let me place a mouth on you like on a paper doll.
This is such a mess. I’ve not yet accused you of suicide.
Small blue birds hate you.
Small brown birds hate you.
They will hate you for the rest of days.
I only watch movies with celebrities.
They make real despair legible.
There was never any chance for the flowers
To ever be about flowers. There ought
To be an airplane for flowers, a picture plane
Where each of us tosses one bouquet.
Goddamn. Which of us gets to stand in the ashes?
Which of us is dropping matches from the flower plane?
Which of us should reconsider, and which of us is laughing aloud.

Volume one of echoverse is dedicated to the memory of Kelly Caldwell, a brilliant poet, essayist, editor, scholar, visual artist, and friend.

Kelly’s writing and art appeared or is forthcoming in Fence, Denver Quarterly, The Mississippi Review, Phoebe, Quiddity, Seneca Review, The Missouri Review, Pacific Standard Magazine, The Rumpus, Guernica, and VICE, among others. She was the winner of an Academy of American Poets University Prize and the 2019 Greg Grummer Prize, judged by Jos Charles. She was the Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Spectacle, which she edited with her spouse, the poet Cassie Donish.

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