Devin Kelly


It's hard to live when you know       the daggers are coming       It's hard to live      sometimes       at all        On twitter someone asks        others to post        poems that make them happy      I want to     but don't         A dog used to live inside        my chest         He gnawed at my ribs until I         learned      to orbit others        in order to hold         myself up without       my heart       slipping through      the seven holes         in my skin        There's a poem I keep       taped above my bed        of a couple      who kiss despite knowing        each love’s          slow descending litany       of excitement       Saint Raphael        patron saint        of unreturned affection         according to an internet forum       pray for us        I watch outside as a man      leans beyond his window        to smoke a cigarette      For a moment it seems          he is at once himself        & the building too        He smokes         for everyone involved          who breathe through him          as I’ve heard god does         Then he returns        to being himself         I don’t want anyone to       ever die        Even the night        with its speckled        & glittered chains of stars        & cigarettes         is bright & beautiful         I want to breathe through it        forever       with a bouquet of brothers        & laugh as we kill ants        in the morning       & replace our flowers with        other flowers       I believe         in a poetry of excess         just like I believe      in too many kisses       & sex that goes on         until we forget we’re having it        Like life         it was both good       & tiring      I remember I said      I want a quesadilla & you        laughed        We kept trying to come        while forever passed us by      & outside the hum      of so much trying to start or in       the process of being       continued on        as it always does       The city reminds us        that so much        does not need us        Beautiful       & more beautiful night       I am happy       for the smallest of moments      The first desire is        to bottle them       The second is to believe        they will last forever        Isn’t it better that nothing        does       Look      we are naked & wet       in another’s arms        It is like we have gone back        to being born        without the pain of mothers         or the eggshell white of      the hospital       Your room is lovely       The drapes      sway in the breeze        If we split a cigarette        do you think I       will see us from       the next life        & smile





I wrote this poem in one sitting while struggling with the idea of joy. How often I want to feel it but can’t. How often I feel it while others don’t. How often people express this need for all of us to find in life a little joy. I believe in joy and I also believe that I am terrified of so much that contains the little that I do understand and the everything I don’t. I am scared of dying. I thought of all of this while writing and tried to find in writing just a little comfort and then lived in that little comfort in this big city for awhile. I still believe in joy.