Dead Letter Office

The last word she said
was scared. Her hand,
black blister I felt
the bubble of, heat

from the hurt skin
on my palm. Sunk,
at last a ghost, inside
gives way to an invading

darkness. Slow wax
from the lit candle, light
waves on the wall. 
The machine I’ve made

out of this body erases
the words written before. 
Call to me, parasite, let
it ignite & consume the bitter

ails spreading. If you believe
you are sick you are sick. 
Everything outside is wet. 
If you believe the grass,

the scratch of earth on your desk
will fix you. I raise the belief
I once felt over my head.
Throw it in a hole opened

black in the middle of the floor. 



About the Author: Charles Kell is a PhD student at The University of Rhode Island and editor of The Ocean State Review. His poetry and fiction have appeared in The New Orleans Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, and elsewhere. He teaches in Rhode Island and Connecticut.