I D K     I S S U E     5


gregory kimbrell

The Scraps That Choke the Cutter

The November moon blooms off the coast

Where a conspiracy of ice
gels salt water inside the gills of fish

The blue light’s imperative
is to stop moving and die

But we will melt the sea and drink it
and become drunk

And when we turn off our appliances
the sea will drowse inside us


We keep our hands beneath the seal skins
in competition with anaesthetist winter

The boats moving like hungry wolves
on the floor of night

All the while the disease
burrows into our stomachs

Into which we lower raw fish

The most sunset-colored of scales stick to our fur


We know the fish are below us
although we cannot see through the ice

Like a burn scar at the back of your mouth

On the sea plains
the smell of chicory on your breath
reminds me you are still alive

Every day we rebuild our barricade of distance
trying to lose ourselves
among the groaning ridges

Knowing this
is almost a comfort

But not when we sleep


Gregory Kimbrell is the author of The Primitive Observatory (Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), winner of the 2014 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Infinite RustPhantom DriftRabbit Catastrophe ReviewRogue AgentRune Bear, and elsewhere. More of his writing, including his sci-fi/horror magnetic poems, can be found at gregorykimbrell.com.