Two Poems by C.M. Keehl

Poetry: C.M. Keehl

an act of desperation

we have all done this kind of thing
so I’ll send a postcard
because light is tricky only being measured in meeting of crests
I was here once
where the moon crests         the pines to light a pool
I sat in summer heat
if you play your cards right
I’ll give you my not skinny & dip into nude
send something raw                          an unkind thing of
blood streaking
down the craters my thighs

of what is womanhood
but a diabolical secret of good lighting

I never claimed to be           anything more
animal & can’t help surviving
why my lips shape numbers
I never said           to form a separation
of skin from fat

it’s as glamorous as you think
to say time is only lengths measured in what I missed

a tall ginny tonic that took me four months
New York City crushed artisanal
to become queen of cool
chomping ice       my jaw
forgetful that force depends on distance
between plump lips & the bar

I repeated voir dire & something french
like my father liked                             when I was dressed
to impress his friends         eating ice cream by the gallons
but he also wanted me thin
so that someday another man would want me

I keep circling back where I was here once
a cause & effect which made it cause
the wanted to be unctuous desirous

all semantics of truths of how to be pretty

by sucking in hard               & having tiny wrists
that are still strong enough to
to flaunt the times               truth wasn’t important
when truth was I only went there
for snacks             to be adored
for amount of mass I was lacking
how newtonian how american apple pie

& how many calories         really
can I not consume               before I am velocity
a lovely 140 mph                not the speed of light
but as close as I could get to be seen             but not heard

so I starved for anyone to call me goddess
all energy curving light around my waist       in an action
to excite                 I only said no twice
for sake of one day finding formula
to being loved more           all mad reasoning
but equalling divine quality

where I can digest postulations
of how I wrong it was to stop spelling what was temporary
everything is temporary

& I can still taste                               what sweet           I lost myself
& keep trying to find in scribbles
all subtly                               like the lord goes away
with each ray of light is a history of
how       the perfect cream melts down my hand
before I can catch it.

abode alone in suburbia// chaos terrain

“and gradually she lost her fear”
—Ovid, Metamorphoses


New Hudson & I’m not sure if I can see
Europa/ is supposed to exit eclipse
little moon with apparent youth
& hypothesis of water
it’s so smooth       the consistency
he asked were we still/         lovers?
in june/ on monday & jupiter was brightest scaring sky

beauty is behooved by those who surrender &
& I was survival mode                       of faded
pavement heat was chugging water
4 times/ diurnal at least     from my nalgene
if to be alone/ by moving back to my parents’ home
at least I will be hydrated     to gulp down
throat /nothing cold but water
the pool was green/ the grass was dried & yellow
I had never considered anyone         a lover
of secrets/my         story/ of abduction
& capacious needs
small talk revolved mostly disaster
& paradoxical reconstruction/ retrospect
looking to connect/ discovery
of more moons     the more/ you drink
the thirstier you become
& once a strawberry moon was/ occasion of sleep
I opt getting messed           up on top
my jeep / never lonely with constant affection
of needy mosquitoes/ I was up
toward space & silence         to get inside
my body & solve/ terrarium of self
destruction/ I had grown   but am still
confused with how
& what’s that virus buzzing around now
anyway wasn’t everything felt         in an

ancient way before/ sentimentalism
& origin                  sentimentality/ differed
reasoning / when did it       become
so pathetic   singing deplorable
an uncomfortable/ volume
by every chorus/ man     that took liking
to the transformation of wolves
running night         down my arms
that took turns holding me down/ demanding hallelujahs
to rise up       my heaving shoulders
I’m being broad/ of course with colloquialisms
/manifestations   the white bull   stealing/ me to sea
read cows of the neighboring towns
read lakes surrounding Michigan
read vessel/ manic & how love
can be a really annoying   amplification

& he read to catalogue me with the woman
in lock in how I was living but         to die/ is to
shine & I was always good spinning               no good
loving but am stealing
internet                from the gods to make a play list
to show my guts the
a perfect dystopia zero to emptying out
my myth/ youth   was lone & wolf running out
pounding water/ forming
poems in shower & cleanliness is next to
fading the choir away
despite the looming             shadow/ spirit demon
are you coming   for me tuesday?

C.M. Keehl is part dreamer/part destroyer/but all alien. She currently lives in the suburbs of Detroit with her dog Carver. She is the poetry editor at Dirty Chai. Her microchap, UNTIL THE FOXES, is out with Ghost City Press. Most recent poems are/forthcoming in: Up The Staircase Quarterly, Vending Machine Press, Spy Kids Review, and Reality Beach. Keep your eyeballs peeled @CMKeehl.


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