Slip-Era by Karla Kelsey


The film itself wasn’t burning, although now that you mention it, this is perhaps the way to understand the ending. I was early for a train and re-organizing my many bags and then all of a sudden I was late and there were too many contents for the suitcases I had. My lover went ahead of me, assuming I’d gather myself quickly, but my objects—which became, upon the absence of my lover, my father’s objects—kept multiplying. I began to give away some of my father’s belongings, a Christmas wreath here, a ball cap there, keeping two cheap plastic class rings as mementos. As I gave away more and more my surroundings transformed: loud speakers were playing the national anthem. A dictator’s flag flew over the station door. The end of my father will be the end of a superior error and the rings, alas, cannot protect us from what we have wasted.



Karla Kelsey is author of four books, most recently Of Sphere, selected by Carla Harryman and published by Essay Press. Blood Feather, a book of poetry, is forthcoming from Tupelo Press.