Kelly Sexton is an American poet born in Wiesbaden, Germany. She has been published in Apothecary, Species, touchstone, Tendrel, and other journals and zines. She has two books with Vegetarian Alcoholic Press (vodka-mountain & DMPTFTBiHWiB).
Frothing dog mouth
Under grow lamps
Waits for permission
Pushes French gown to floor
Piling itself together
Her hands were cold
Never shaking, always empty
They clear-cut the forest you were born in
Two toddlers emerge from grass with fogged over eyes, crawl on all fours, bend and contort on muddy ground.
Captured with surgery-bait that bit their tongues.
Kept in cages for hours at a time, gnashing at steel until bloodied.
‘We could use them for food or we could release them on another property.’
The night I saw you magnetized to your gun
Clutching it like a child in the hall outside his bedroom
A Chinese bolt-action rifle
I didn’t know anything about guns, I just knew it was big
Zane pulled my head to chest to avoid spatter
You held onto that bullet for years
And I held your head as you screamed on dark nights
Shoved Xanax in your crying face
Standing outside the classroom
Where teacher has forgotten you
And from the red mouth,
other animals don’t kill themselves
they just give up on living
lie down on their snouts in the mud
let the world swallow them
cut and broken from eternal existence
there is no two
only one and one