Fall Issue 2022
Kelle Grace Gaddis
Human rights groups are up in arms.
The one percent doesn’t care. War builds wealth.
The atheists kick the frightened religious fanatics east and west.
And all politicians claim God, build armies, fight for power.
The sickness of rage fills you until you burst into flames.
I try to lure the apathetic to care, to think, but we have forgotten how to be wise.
Too many are content with reductive answers, fast and easy, returning to their TV.
War is a sport of the righteous versus wrong.
Sending bombs and drones to the ragged fiction of progress.
The un-laughable joke ends, “Your spilled blood or mine?”
Our fools can’t tell Iraq from Iran, Afghanistan from Pakistan.
Yours fight the white race with genocidal fervor.
But this is wrong too.
You are not you.
And I am not USA.
We are not the roles given or cast by fortune. We are enclaves demanding action.
We are flags burning and boundaries softening.
You are the hopeful mother or gentle elder of forgiveness.
I am one of many voices, rising to end the homicidal charge, in the name of humanity.
All involved are guilty of being culturally backwards, proven by our opposing aesthetics.
The differences that frighten or insist that one become the other.
Will you leave behind your distorted vision if I leave behind mine?
Can we understand one another enough to change?
When He Breaks
Stare at a man whose missing an eye.
Only enter the rooms of people you know. Tears that taste like hot sauce.
He is aware of his bones.
They throw the flowers in the trash.
The house has no softness.
I pray for ghosts and drink spirits
Best friends can’t be best friends forever.
The sun bends to touch your patch of ground. I listen to the birds outside the window.
This is what it’s like to be alone.
between the sea and sky
upon the waves
my curved breast
to waist to thigh
over azure I
tumble into blue
drip pools of music
smooth as a long board
soft as a wave over skin
come now, come now
wild love to ride again
Kelle Grace Gaddis graduated at the top of her Creative Writing & Poetics MFA from the University of Washington in June of 2014. She has been published by numerous literary arts journals and won the Poetry.org poetry prize in 2004.
In 2014, Gaddis published in Clamor Literary Journal, Dove Tales Literary Journal and in Blackmail Presses Edition 37. Her first book, Polishing A Gem On The Surface of The Sea, was published by ProQuest and is currently a finalist in Omni's Fabulist Fiction contest. Gaddis is also pleased to be a part of 4 Culture's 2014-2015 public arts project called "Poetry on Buses" in Seattle Washington.