The National Poetry Review

Ellen Kombiyil

(a Golden Shovel feat. William Carlos Williams)

Break it open like young lasses smashing so
many Olde English 800’s, much
less squander glued-on nutrition labels. We depends
on me&you, an agreed upon
us. You took what can’t be handed back. In a
12 oz. bottle, zero calories from fat. Gold & red
foil sweated cold when I swooned, floor tilted up. Wheel
spinning mimicked gravel ping when sideways barrow
stretchered me not-home. It was that simple. Spittle glazed
my pillow. Dark shapes began with
the edges of your hands, yon light not daylight. Rain/water
poured where sunlight once stamped Venn diagrams: your cock beside
my thighs, also inside. I insisted we were 2 sets, not 1. Undid the
algorithm of counting where white
feathers settled or had been. Duck. Duck. Goose. Chickens.

ELLEN KOMBIYIL is the author of Histories of the Future Perfect (2015), and her micro chapbook, Avalanche Tunnel, is forthcoming with Ryga. A fellow at the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program in 2013, Kombiyil’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, BOOTH, Spillway, Poemeleon, and Tinderbox, among others. She is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a Best of the Net nominee, and has read, performed or taught workshops at the annual Prakriti Poetry festival in Chennai, the Raedleaf Poetry Awards in Hyderabad, and Lekhana in Bangalore. She is a co-Founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective. Originally from Syracuse, New York, and a graduate of the University of Chicago, she is a recent transplant from Bangalore, India, where she lived for nearly eleven years. She currently lives in New York City.