Black Vesper’s Pageants – Charles Kell

White pearls are his eyes.
The truck’s motor stalls, grinds back to life
with a gear’s shift. We idle
in this parking lot’s strange shadow.
Crunch of cellophane under a worn
boot. His eyes hang in front of the driver
side window, pupils storm over
I can’t look away. Will this be the last
time we talk? Little black hole in his left
arm under a rolled sleeve. If I could ever
leave I wouldn’t be here now. The way out
of something is through it I read
once in a book. I no longer miss the dead
or even speak to them while I sleep.
Those that live outside the hours never leave.


About the Author: Charles Kell is a PhD student at The University of Rhode Island and editor of The Ocean State Review. His poetry and fiction have appeared in The New Orleans Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, IthacaLit, The Pinch, and elsewhere. He teaches in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

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