Kelsey Writes
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Poetry

Creative Writing Poetry

Unexpected Sunset

I was making dinner and I got a message.
Go look outside, she said, go look at the sunset.
My apartment is small, with four rooms and two windows
that don’t see much light so I had no idea.
I pulled my coat on and hurried out.
I was running to this sunset,
suddenly the only thing that mattered.
I hurried past the taller buildings to the park
and the sky was leaking shades of pink and purple.
It was beautiful and fleeting,
there one minute and gone the next.
I would’ve missed it; I almost kissed it.
And so I started thinking,
how great it would be to get a nudge,
a tap on your shoulder,
a moment or two before your life changes.
Stop what you’re doing and look around,
you’ll want to remember this later.
In a minute, you’re going to fall in love.

Creative Writing Poetry

– 21

There was a frostbite warning when I waited for the bus. I had my new jacket on,
the black one I bought on clearance. Twelve dollars bought me a winter coat

with a sticky zipper and bright orange lining. The material is more slippery
than my other jacket, more slick and yet, soft. This new shell felt foreign,

standing there in the cold, the inside unfamiliar on my skin. You know when
something new takes a while to feel like yours? It was not my jacket yet.

It had been sunny earlier. Bright blue sky, deceiving enough to make you believe
it was warm out. So I left my mittens at home. I left my scarf. Instead, my hands

wrapped around a paper cup from Tim Horton’s. Earl grey tea, milky brown. 
The heat from the cup leaking out between my fingers like life from a body.

There were ten of us huddled in the shelter, necks bent against the wind,
fists stuffed into pockets. Two of us spoke Japanese. One of us was laughing.

Seven of us were underdressed. All of us were tired. Our bodies growing stiff, 
ears stinging as we waited. How many of us were in love? How many of us lonely?

I stood there dressed in a stranger’s jacket waiting for a sign. An epiphany.
A bus hurtling down the street in the dark. Headlights bright in the snow.

Creative Writing Poetry

The Plants on My Windowsill

The plant by the window has grown again. A spider plant
with leaves stretching out, exploding in every direction.

It grows every time I turn my back. Silent & slow while I sleep.
While I watch tv. Cook dinner. Every time I turn around, it has grown,

new shoots appearing that were never there before. Sometimes
I think I’m imagining it. Remembering it wrong from the last time.

But yet, it grows. It has to. Too slow to see but still alarmingly fast.
 The plant in its small red pot didn’t exist six months ago and here it is,

growing silently on its perch in the corner, drunk on water and meager
glimpses of winter sun. I wonder what it’s growing to, what God

it’s reaching up to kiss. It shares this space with me. The plant
and its brothers, all of us living & breathing in my small living room.

Last week, I killed my aloe plant. Fed it too much water and it died.
It sat softly on my table for a year. Growing when no one was looking,

shy & unassuming. I was only trying to pay it some extra attention, 
some extra love. Do you think it knew? Do you think it knew it was love?

here&gone
Creative Writing Poetry

Here & Gone

I lay beside you in the half-light,  your hand tucked into the curve of my side.
At midnight I get up & put the kettle on to boil, bring a mug down from the shelf.

I turn my palm over and then over again, a grey silhouette that shouldn’t belong
to me. Have you noticed yet, I’ve been turning to fog when you’re not looking?

There’s music coming from the bar around the corner. A band is covering
The Romantics & I keep thinking of all the places I’ve left pieces of myself behind.

We take turns defining our bodies. This is a knee & this isn’t. This is you slipping
through me. You bring your hand to my chest; a heart bleeding into another heart.

Yes, I think I’ve let a ghost in. Yes, I think it knows me well. It rustles around
in my skin now, restless. I grieve myself in the distant way of an old pain.

The kettle shrieks. I look around & you are everywhere. Your hereness
like a smudge on everything you touch; my goneness wipes away any trace of me.

Here and gone, we are both falling into someplace else. You pitching forward
in the night trying to fill up space with your bright orange light, throbbing in the dark.

Me, wet & shining & translucent, scurrying back into the weeds, into the mud. 
Am I ghost? No. A ghost trying to be a body again. Smoke trying to be fire.

Creative Writing Poetry

A Lesson in Forgetting

A lesson in forgetting:
the past always heals faster
when you’re not looking.
The way we try and hold
onto memories like they are more
than water. The way we look
into the pools of our past
searching for minnows,
searching for fish.
A lesson in remembering:
the water is always smoother
in retrospect. Where are the waves?
Where are the currents?
The way in which we tell ourselves
we could do it again. Dive in again.
Make it out alive.

Last night,
your voice touched me in my sleep;
I woke up thinking about waterfalls.