Kevin McLellan

The Killing Jar


an entomologist says in / a larva
says out / larvae say out / you        

consider fences / do you keep
yourself in or out? / questions

are fences / can’t stop asking /
you consider glass / separation

relevant or irrelevant? / memory
not reliable / though you vividly

remember rain / also the sun
/ that day feeling was a fence  

 

Staying


indoors just after the breaking
point / the

language of exposure at first

toothy then uric / you admire
the unflinching

openness of the oxalis / yet

question which ways you can
give safely

/ must ask if you are ready? /

must bathe the forager and
these collected

shapes/ but in the crisper

leave these dislocated ones  
for later / yes

the night will surely linger


Kevin McLellan is the author of Tributary (Barrow Street Press); the chapbook Round Trip (Seven Kitchens), a collaborative series with numerous women poets; and the book arts project [box] (Letter [r] Press). He won the 2015 Third Coast Poetry Prize and the Gival Press 2016 Oscar Wilde Award. His poems have appeared in journals including American Letters & CommentaryColorado Review, Crazyhorse, Kenyon Review, West BranchWestern Humanities ReviewWitness, and many others.