Stirring : A Literary Collection

Ward Kelley


Skin and ice, two extremes, but
you explained how the two come
to embrace each other, then actually
become each other; you whispered,

there, above the sheets, your own
bronze skin akin to glaciers by its
resolve and unyielding presence
which eventually overtakes everything

in its path. You hooked a leg over me,
your breast now on my arm as you
chastised my own flesh, "You white
men never think past the moment of

this act, but will quickly admit we all
end up as ice." My eyebrows raised in
assent and desire for you to go on.
"The question" your black eyes spoke

up at me, "is how the cold of death becomes
newly born bones of flesh. Your mind and
body are warm with life while your ghost
is cold within the space of death."

You moved on top to straddle me, "In, out,
in . . . open, closed, open . . . love is a metaphor
for the way your being slides back and forth,
sometimes breathing, sometimes dead."

But now, so far away from Alaska, I see how
you were right about white men; my memories
of you can never get past your copper beauty,
and I never really understood the allure of cold.

Ward Kelley
Birthdate: 11/12/50
Location: Greencastle, Indiana
Publications: ACM Another Chicago Magazine, Rattle, Zuzu's Petals, Ginger Hill, Sunstone, Spillway, Pif, 2River View, Melic Review, Thunder Sandwich, The Animist, Offcourse, etc.
Awards: Pushcart Prize nominee, Nassau Review Poetry Award Winner for 2001, Featured Poet for Seeker Magazine, Physik Garden, Poetry Life & Times, and Pyrowords

Stirring : A Literary Collection

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