Cathexis Northwest Press

© 2018 

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Lost Reader

I once knew a sandwich artist

with poems hidden like lettuce

in his snaggletooth, where verses

fermented blueberry beer,

                   American Spirits, 

                   onyx Volkswagen emissions,

and I topped a trail on his lips

that may still taste like cinnamon,


a siren’s call, or was it the teal

polka dot sundress I trimmed

for the reading, where Holy the Firm 

guarded periwinkle suede, 

                           the seat he saved for me,

                           to later massage 

his back and legs once doors closed,

and I opened the book to experience God.


I hear him now,

            you’re cataloguing your darlings,

as he’d knot gelled curls along his temple,

where a slow grimace formed 

by the chaos of my vowel’s music,

            I hear the twang,

a soundtrack to his climb

from the Tennessee oaks 

to Oregon pines, I hope,

where in his kitchen  

he collects more poems,


all while I piece him together

with notes left in books 

that once rested crooked in a seat

that he saved for his wife.

Kelsey A. Solomon teaches writing and literature at Walters State Community College in Hamblen County, Tennessee. Her most recent publications in poetry can be found in Appalachian Heritage, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel: Appalachia Under 30, and the Anthology of Appalachian Writers.