Collin Kelley


Jesus taps me lightly on the back,
pokes my neck, catches in my hair.
Sometimes he slides down my cheek,
threatens to put out an eye,
hangs suspended on his cross over my lips.
Sometimes I catch his toes with my teeth,
or open my mouth wide and take him whole,
a sacrament, the cold metal sweet with sweat
where it has lain on your chest all day.
Sometimes Jesus just watches me
from a distance, a tiny shadow
at the center of your bare back as you sit
on the edge of my bed ready to leave.
And sometimes, when Jesus disappears
over your shoulder as you pull on your shirt,
I confess that I want you to stay.
As night turns into morning,
glorious to luminous,
come back to bed and let's go through
the mysteries of the cross once more.


Collin Kelley is the author of the American Library Association-honored poetry collection Render (Sibling Rivalry Press) and Better To Travel (Poetry Atlanta Press). Sibling Rivalry Press is also the publisher of his acclaimed Venus Trilogy of novels, Conquering Venus, Remain In Light and Leaving Paris. Kelley’s poetry, short fiction, essays and interviews have appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies around the world.