Kelly Konya

telesma & Smithfield Steps

Kelly Konya

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n. (late Greek) completion, religious rite

how can an entire nation

be a talisman

when a nation is little more,

at rest,

than air?

sedentary, I long for its seat,

I grip it like a charmed rabbit foot

green in color from lying

together in the rugby pitch.

returned to me in a dream,

forever lost yet all around me,

I render, softly,

what life was really like

rounding the corner and seeing

always as if for the first time

the hectic-calm Anna Livia Plurabelle,

portal to a nightmare,

restful source of dredge and sludge—

unawake, so alive, fitting like a jigsaw,

this talisman

holds my breath, built

for you and from you

out of my tears, your pride, and verity.

Smithfield steps

                after Asia Calcagno

Good gracious. You again. And it is always me

asking to borrow or buy time. We are

exhaling smoke on the steps. Mouths heating in our

perpetual debate. Grey market lamps bleed hopeless

angels in our pale eyes. Testimony of why

you’re [the way you are] late. The “Left Hand” story,

stoicism and smoke in our teeth. I was forced to. The

ember sneaks in your nail beds with a desperate

crawl. The nun made me—as punishment! It wasn’t

natural. The filters rip, sodden, and are flicked

into cracks. We rise with our names on gravestones:

he in the Highlands, me elsewhere with a sunset. 

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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