National Poetry Month is almost over, but the second series of Poets on Couches continues. In these videograms, poets read and discuss the poems that helps them through these strange times – they send straight from their couches to yours. These readings bring intimacy into our spaces of isolation, both through the affinity of poetry and the warmth of being able to speak to one another over distances.
“States of decline”
By Taylor Johnson
(Issue No. 228, spring 2019)
The room dies honey and lemon peel.
Acid light. My grandmother is sitting in her chair
Sweetening in the blue velvet. Domestic
Declination is the window that never opens –
The paint peeled off, dusted the threshold and inhaled.
It’s an American love that she lives in.
my grandmother, rigorous towards televangelists
and infomercials. Lose the use of your legs.
Must be turned like a mattress.
Nobody comes for them. The dog is
sleeping in the yard, her husband,
obedient to fat and garlic
in cast iron, they salt
Death in the wind house.
Donika Kelly is the author of two collections of poetry, bestiary and The renunciations. She teaches at the University of Iowa. Her poem “Dear -” was published in the 2018 winter edition.