Kelli Simpson

Just a Phone Call, but


Just a phone
call but,
half a state
away; sissy, when
did we get so
old and gray
and screwed up
just a phone
call, but
half a state
of sane; sissy, how
do orphans
find a place
in these weird
empty spaces
Just a phone
call, but
half a state
of grace; sissy, will
our hearts
stitch back together?






I’m finished freeing forgotten women
from strange roadside attractions.
I’m done with daring the animal’s eyes
to see myself in his stare.
I don’t care
for your tarot spread
of ordinary miracles.
No more falling star struck blind for skies
beyond repair.




I’m the Fish



I’m the fish I feed
to the bigger fish
to the bigger fish
to catch a bigger fish,
and the pond I’m circling, circling
gets smaller all the time.

The worm’s at rest in the crook of the hook.
He’s seen the film, and he’s read the book.
While one segment sleeps, another looks

to see the one /if I’m the one

that gets away.






I’m older, but softened by starlight.
There’s a wolf for every winter I’ve cheated.
Their howls held in little glass bottles
are icons – prayed to as needed.




Like a Star


Here in my pocket, I’ve got a box
of new, improved moonlight and three locks
of your golden hair that I snipped last fall
(we were kissing; you didn’t notice at all).
I’ve a bottle of liquor more sweet than strong
and the first six bars of your favorite song.
The path has been swept; would you care to dance?
Don’t laugh! Please! Just give me a chance
to hold you again – tender, trembling, and tight –
like a star is held by the night.





Kelli Simpson


Kelli Simpson lives in Norman, Oklahoma with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and an ever-expanding menagerie of reptiles. Her work has appeared in Maudlin House, Page and Spine, Sick Lit Mag, and elsewhere. She is the co-author of the poetry books Gemini/Scorpio, Capricorn and Three Note Howl: The Wild Hunt.

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