Issue > Poetry
Kathy Nelson

Kathy Nelson

Kathy Nelson's work has appeared in Exit 13, US 1 Worksheets, Off the Coast, The Paterson Literary Review and the Edison Literary Review. Additionally, her first chapbook manuscript was recently accepted by Main Street Rag.


Spring           My Lai Massacre     Ray Shoots King

Summer         Solanas Shoots Warhol          Sirhan Shoots Kennedy

Winter          Across the Hall: Door Clicks Shut.
Silence, then Gasping.      Urgent, Strangled Gurgling.
I Await Instruction.
Keep Brushing Hair. I Pretend Deafness,
Good Daughter Ignorance, Security Camera Innocence.
Silence Finally Comes.
Locked, No Answer. Break Down Door.
Check for Breathing. Listen for Heartbeat.
Run Next Door.
Wait for Ambulance. Police Provide Escort.
Track Down Mother. Rushes Past Me. Sure There's Hope.
Dead on Arrival.
She Breaks Down.      I Am Stone.

Eyes On Me. I Invent Grief.
I Contrive Innocence.
Mother Listens, Silent.

Stomach Refuses Everything. Toilet Hears Confession.
I Cling, Guilty. Kneel, Await Penance.
Stomach Signs Statement. Stomach Heaves, Empty.

Daddy in Casket.     I Am Dead.

Spring          Car Kills Dog. Mother Breaks Down.      I Am Stone.
Ray Pleads Guilty     Prom Night Photos.     High School Graduation.

Summer     Kennedy Drowns Kopechne     Manson Murders Tate     
Mother's Face Floods.      I Turn Away.


Spring          Kent State Massacre      Pulitzer Grief Everywhere.       I Am Stone.

The Question

I remember the back of your head, your stooped shoulders;
how you looked out the window onto the fruit trees,
the green lawn, the pond; how you did not turn around
but asked your question with the back of your head.

I remember your voice, balanced somewhere between sad
and indignant, teetering between destitute and imperial;
how the room suddenly held so much that was new,
even with your dead husband still staring from the portrait

over the fireplace; how you had never asked me
that question before; how I stood in the dark of that room,
my gut as heavy as one of your swirling Murano
paperweights; how I let the silence expand before I responded.

I no longer remember what—choked words, slammed spoon—
made you ask, or what I answered, but I remember gray hair,
creases at the back of your neck, your breaking voice,
and the long pause before I opened my mouth.


Alessandra Lynch

Alessandra Lynch
When The Body Drifts Off


Amit Majmudar

Amit Majmudar


Alica Friman

Alice Friman
The Real Thing