Kelli Russell Agodon




Only sleep could help me
sort out the glitter on the staircase,
or what it really is—shredded
cabbage on the steps from the kitchen.

There’s an old dog limping in the yard
and it’s my old dog. Bless the sweet
fog he roams through and call that that sweet
fog: God, or grass, or indeterminate years.

In the physical world, we are just bodies
losing our structure, my composition
from breadstick to cinnamon loaf,
honeycomb to just the drip of honey.

Gatsby has changed from dog-
in-the-waves, dog-running-through-
the-field to dog needing help when his back
legs don’t hold. We’re all trying, my dog

slowly returning to the bluesmoke
he came from, while I chop
cabbage and watch the moon
begin its slow circle into another

time zone. In my head, I am Zelda
and this is my party, but the truth
it’s almost midnight, truth is
I’m the worker bee and not the queen.


KELLI RUSSELL AGODON is the author of Hourglass Museum (White Pine Press, 2014) and The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice, which she coauthored with Martha Silano. Her other books include Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room (Winner of ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year in Poetry and a Finalist for the Washington State Book Prize), Small Knots, Geography, and Fire On Her Tongue: An Anthology of Contemporary Women’s Poetry which she edited with Annette Spaulding-Convy. She has won various awards in writing and editing from Artist Trust, The Puffin Foundation, North American Review and her work has been published in journals such as The Atlantic, Prairie Schooner, and the New England Review. She is the co-founder of Two Sylvias Press and was the editor of Seattle’s Crab Creek Review for six years.


Read more by Kelli Russell Agodon:

Poem in New England Review
Poem at Poetry Daily
Author’s Website