Kelly Konya

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Kelly Konya

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after Carl Phillips


When he speaks of mindfulness and writes it off—

prayer is better suited but for what?—

I can tell he believes it, fathoms it clearly.

Sometimes a thing can seem lovely when it’s just

needing love, stripped of conviction and lying

somewhere in the cold, beyond tension.

Sometimes remembering that I’m doomed to fail—

that my body already contains the thing that will kill me—

keeps me almost steady, if steadiness is what flair

for a while brings—cigarettes (mine), silver bangle (his),

a timeline bookended by Septembers (ours)—

before it all rusts and fades like old fallow steel mills.

Before I had to defend myself, that I liked feeling in control,

before the beers and the silent disco, before envy

and a vile tattoo and the eventual that’ll kill you, you know,

the coffee shop on the corner was a bank—before that,

a school for young Catholic boys, the only remains

of which is a cross above the door framed with the phrase

I AM WHO AM, as if that much, at least, still remains

for us to consider, or should. If it’s true that transparency is

the honest-to-god truth, how come a made-up world

saves us from the rain? London, Cleveland—how delicate,

this holding of home in the mouth, the almost benign

trick of distancing for salvage the last signs of lust, lusting

like bees chasing honeycombs, frantic, eyeballs shaking . . .


Kelly Konya


Kelly Konya was born in Cleveland, Ohio and holds an MPhil in Irish Writing from Trinity College Dublin. Her journalism and poetry have been featured in publications such as Icarus, Banshee, the Irish Times, and Chimes. 

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