At the Bar My Friend Talked of Bodies

Kelly Grace Thomas


mouth. She has met the butcher
and his growling

pronounce. I have whispered
in the dark  

No stomach can digest
shame: a congregation

We purge
or perish.

Our bodies drink away
their owners.

the blade.

Most nights: a bottle of wine
steals my name


About this skin she’s forced
to carry. Meat for another

knife. Starves
what she can’t

ever since I was old enough
to hollow.

of rocks. Patient in a
poisoned well.

To be an empty mosque
unholied to the fast. 

Hunger is never pretty.
Sadness sharpens


and never gives
it back.


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 Net 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