Grandma’s living room of false gods

BY HANS KESLING

There is a funeral clown that dances across her coffee table
and a blue woman who leans out of a painting. And Esther,
who has chickenpox, is laid out on the loveseat hallucinating little legs
running over her quilt. You’re reciting to yourself, if only I
had, but you don’t know what to regret. I fall asleep listening.
When you sit in your mother’s wood rocker, the New Testament
in your back pocket boosts half of your body
so that your spine slants the whole night.


Hans Kesling grew up in Western Washington, in a town known by the local police as Methlehem. They’ve spent years trying to leave this place behind, but it returns again and again in their dreams, worldview, and poetry. They graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a BA in English in 2013 and they’re currently pursuing an MFA in poetry writing. During the Summer they live in Portland, Oregon with their spouse and two cats. Find their work in T(OUR) MagazineOregon Poetic VoicesTalking Earth, and Gobshite Quarterly.

Image Credit: “aniloraC” by Sarah Simon

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