Kylie Gellatly

Haiku, Shot Down

if the bird remains
must be eaten may they
               in their
                         own desire




The need to clean the drops of blood, unlike
the want to poach small birds—to fill a hunger
I’ve never tasted—and to be the only ware
on the handle of a sharp knife. I could gather
and exude a potent cure from the table’s edge
in front of you; the fault known as a half-glass
emptying, the one thing that fills a center—marrow.

On the surface, the work is done over bare-
boned drinks, swirling, like poured company,
always running the risk of breaking.
Sliced with liquid, I feel my heart harden
and stomach yield enough for the brow
to relieve the body of its hold over beauty,
like gas over flame—put on edge to throw
and be thrown. The anger or desire would
spill and submerge, badly burnt, used
instead of holding place. It is vapor
which hangs over tongues, diffused
but not transparent, while reason rises
like drowning.



Kylie Gellatly is a poet and the author of The Fever Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2021). Her visual poems are recently published or forthcoming in DIAGRAM, Tupelo Quarterly, TAB Journal, Iterant Magazine, and elsewhere. Kylie is a Frances Perkins Scholar at Mount Holyoke College. For more, visit