A Short List of Grievances by Keith S. Wilson

—Honorable Mention, Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize

First, you are invisible,
which is another word for Jesus

she’s gone. Second, the medulla oblongata makes you automatic,
so even when I am not thinking
of your hips, I am

thinking of your hips (the dreams I have dreamed
of being loosed like a sparrow would pronounce themselves

into wilder dreams if I were a bird already.
I would have to eat nothing until I was thin as the air

and I’d baffle the moon, my simple machines turning
the sky like a mobile. I could be

ready. Heave and release.
Only the nothing of a bird).

You are right. I am cabinetry.
I’m a man that needs to know conclusively

that he’s empty. Your name,
you know, is a midnight call. I am talking too much

about air and hardly about breath—
who do you think, really,

makes me lift my chest? This should be simple
but never is. Consider the wing,

to whom the burden of air
becomes the burden of flight.

Keith S. Wilson is an Affrilachian Poet, Cave Canem fellow, and graduate of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. He has received three scholarships from Bread Loaf as well as scholarships from MacDowell, UCross, Millay Colony, and the Vermont Studio Center, among others. Keith serves as assistant poetry editor at Four Way Review and digital media editor at Obsidian Journal.

pixelstats trackingpixel