the muse apprentice guild
--expanding the canon into the 21st century




THREE WORKS
BY WARD KELLEY

PARTS TO KEEP HIDDEN

Empty is how your hands looked even as
they caressed your own skin, as though
the sun could warm your thoughts but not
your soul.

There are always parts of us that we keep
hidden; with some of us, our souls are clear
to everyone else, yet there are those whose
skin is never quite readable.

Marks. There are ways we mark our eyes
by what we find important; there are other
ways the earth marks our souls by what we
have not explored.

Your hands hold my face, and I wonder
if now I am the empty vessel formed by
your fingers who crave to indent my skin
so I can explore this new mark.

If I understood it, I would hide it.

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NOT PARTICULARLY FREE

What can be explained cannot be readily
trusted, you told me, then touched me in
a place even I have not conjured.

The gray birds glide across the valley . . .
a small flock not particularly
free but instead appear starved
for something only human beings can
grant. Much of what we think becomes
painful to others;

                            yet somewhere in these
thoughts are a few that can reach out
to shield our very souls. Life is worthwhile,
although you're right, it cannot be explained.

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BREATH MUST BE TAKEN

When I take your breath away, that is awe.
The breathing must be suspended in order
to apprehend what is noted, for flesh is simply

a matter of conveyance, a chute for your soul
to careen through the teeming.

Suspended . . . whether momentarily
or permanently, it only matters for which
awe is to be apprehended.