Hunger is a Bride

by Kelly Grace Thomas

A grave that doesn’t fill.

Wing starved, she can only throat.

Birdseed in someone else’s bed.

A body bouqueted

and budgeted. Hunger hangs like a dark

chandelier. She’s sick with glass.

Hunger takes a body like a vow.

A list of small violences

to have and to hold.

An anniversary

of knives. I slaughtered

the tallest tree just to find a ring.

Still hunger sits at the edge

of my bed. I surrender

in small bites.


by Kelly Grace Thomas

This is not what I wanted

to grow.

Weeds were once flowers

that begged too loudly.

Attention is its own food.

This house is almost winter. I ignored

the nameless. Flowers: wilted into

closed doors. At night

he notices the dandelions

under my nails.

Kisses my kicked in

flower pot mouth.

I wish I could tell him

that we will bud something new.

Instead I pull the bulbs

from my mouth

muddying the sheets.

I can’t kill

what I didn’t grow.

Kelly Grace Thomas is the winner of the 2017 Neil Postman Award for Metaphor from Rattle, a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a Best of the Next nominee. Boat Burned, her first full-length collection, is forthcoming from YesYes Books. Kelly’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in: DIAGRAM, Tinderbox, Nashville Review, Sixth Finch, Muzzle, PANK and more. Kelly currently works to bring poetry to underserved youth as the Manager of Education and Pedagogy for Get Lit-Words Ignite. She is also the co-author of Words Ignite: Explore, Write and Perform, Classic and Spoken Word Poetry (Literary Riot).Kelly was a 2016 Fellow for the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop. She is the founder of FeministWrites, a creative collective that connects and champions feminist voices. She is currently a reader for Tinderbox Poetry Journal. She lives in Los Angeles. For more please visit