Admission /In petto/ Driven/ I Spar by Myself – by SARAH KERSEY

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“the truth is nothing more

than a puddle of clear water

dammed in ditch.”—Derek Walcott


The truth in drought, once rife with succulent

tongues, now dumb, yet not without meaning beneath diffident

gerunds, a confession so different

from ones to gods of rain, nimble and translucent

as morning mist, foreheads kissed by teasing misses, coy as blooming linens.

An inebriated sky, asphyxiated of its vapor and

even now, I do not dance for the rain as appeasement.

From above, a lone, valiant cumulus, worn out from

Distance like an ostomy releasing its injury; a downward sigh,

the cloudburst’s preponderant relief anoints me like a kingly oil.

I am repentant,



In petto

On our wavelength of light, crestfallen,

Dim and lackluster,

My king humbles himself in our queen-sized bed,

Yielding to slumber.

The warmth of the flicker off his skin

Tests my thighs for a response

He doesn’t know he called for:

An arterial mist, like perfume.

My breathing is

Buoyant, matchless;

My heart steps to the side

To make room, my love.

Walcott’s White Egrets offers a celestial exit

Tucked behind snow-stuffed skies of March, up

To the crescent moon trumpeting for an old friend.


My rib cage is driftwood to straddle;

Secure from the irresistible surge of

Blood, from many waves of blue

Liquid love effused from self-abuse.

My love is safe with me.


My love, invisible,

Heady love—halting love

Supplements my book before bed.



My crow’s feet and all

my years have elapsed in young orbits.

As I head on, the segmented rubber neck on the northbound side

beeps and lays on distress signals,

about to take a nose dive

southbound towards the detour.


The car’s cabin is tentative—

50, sometimes 45 if it drifts.

Heating coils are taut like

a flushed face. Salty back windshield,

ice crust sweats to tears.

Laws of motion run forward with ferocious veracity

while I still feel the wheel, a slippery grip on a phantom first lover’s form,

a scintillating side line. Surrender to forgetting

February; blur into rearview.

Laws of motion run backward with license and restriction:

corrective lenses for 20/20 vision.


So worn out, so tired,

what lies immediately ahead is relegated to the periphery.

Silhouettes on the roadway?

Steering askance,

I plow through them all,

under the old and over the new,

tantamount to trampling down

shadows that empathized.


I Spar by Myself

(originally appeared in Verse Magazine in May 2014)


All humans live in air, not on ground.

Formed from soil, float around.

Scattered brains, mind contains

follies of thoughts, volleyed.

Hey, she, they:

Are ideas conveyed

In terms of

Weight, in “is per are,” or is/are.

No drying, no crying.

All humans glide together.

Pulled towards one another.

If one goes home=the other goes home,

Then both are home.

If one goes out=the other goes out,

Then both are out.

If one spills…

…then the other is separate.

The one cannot flow into the other.

The other will always be dry.

It’s like when a vase gets snatched up just in time

when the wine spills across the table.  Spills always cry.  Vases are dry.

Thus, one can never assume that the other thinks or talks about him as much…

…because he doesn’t.  For, every single mention of A is equal to the half-mention of B.  If your name starts with T, he’ll only cross the smallest one when balancing his checkbook.

Meanwhile, the one is dreaming about the other every single night, and he clamors

for sleep.  As a result, one must learn to deal with the newly-acquired

irrelevance.  How to be irrelevant…without crying.

Smiling while dialing the morgue.



Sarah Kersey is a poet and musician from New Jersey.  Her work has appeared in Yellow Chair Review, Squawk Back, The Harpoon Review, Verse Magazine, and other publications.  She will soon be an x-ray technologist.  Sarah’s personal blog can be found at

*Featured Photography provided by Melissa Libbey*

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