Headless statues float in a broken
open Cornell box, past last call.
In a small room off the water,
wind burns through empty bottles
making neon green headstones
that stare back from the window-sill.
Even before your brother died,
you felt like an only child crawling
in the dark. Under the bed you shared
for twelve years he built a herbarium,
cigarette butts planted on the periphery
with faces drawn over them. This
was your family. To lure the stricture
away, clouds inside the closet, shirts
shrink over your scratched shoulders.
About the Writer
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.