Donika Kelly

Fall 2017

My chest is earth 

I meant to write my chest is warm
but earth will do

                           to exhume a heart


I meant to write

               Did you know I was alive the whole time

I was alive in the ground but torpor

            But torpor

Slowed beat

My chest filled like a jar with dirt

I mean

For slow months at rest in the hole
I’d made in myself
            A frozen ground
      A ground in thaw

Donika Kelly is the author of Bestiary (Graywolf 2016), winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and longlisted for the National Book Award. She teaches at St. Bonaventure University.

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