Kelli Allen

Honeycombs Light Cathedrals Upward Like Stars


We covet sweetness with or without
a guide. Smuggling tiny orange horses
across a body or border is still violence.
When did you stop collecting enough wax
to set aside, slick carpet honey light, for birds
left near-to-inconsolable? Beaks, sharp

hooked, do the damage before down dries
from one egg to the next. Murder again incubates
as patience. It remains easier to consume than bury
what might be dead soon enough. Too often
your kingdom grows smaller the closer your feet come
to a hearth. We have made ourselves both hammer

and softening birch. Still, pretend alone spells waiting
and never failure. A richer forest, then, hives nestled higher,
might be where you are headed. What breaks, gurgles open near
the station, is the very crust hardening around those lights, sticky
in your undeserving palms. Tell me now how to blame harmless direction.

Kelli Allen

Kelli Allen’s work has appeared in numerous journals in the US and internationally. She served as Managing Editor of Natural Bridge, is the Poetry Editor for The Lindenwood Review, and directs River Styx’s Hungry Young Poets Series. She is a Professor of Humanities/Creative Writing at Lindenwood University. Her chapbook, Some Animals, won the 2016 Etchings Press Prize. Her chapbook, How We Disappear, won the 2016 Damfino Press chapbook award. Her newest full-length arrives from C&R Press 2017. Her poetry collection, Otherwise, Soft White Ash, arrived from John Gosslee Books in 2012 and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

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