Holiday Party 2017

This poem is about the habits and people we tether ourselves to when we are listlessly searching for an anchor in life.

You might have been standing on the beach
in Silver Lake with your soon-to-be-ex-lover
while I numbed myself in the ancient
basement of the bar where I worked

on Old World Third Street—doing lines,
downing a bottle of red wine with an elephant
on the label, dipping my licked finger into a baggie
of crystalline molly as alcoholic rats chewed taps

of Spotted Cow. As you considered a move
to the Pacific Coast, a last-ditch effort
for you two, I lived in an East Side January,
considering only my own mouth,

how my teeth chattered themselves back to life
during an endless comedown from key bumps
in the bathroom, cab rides in pre-dawn blackness,
biting walks in lake effect wind.

Kim Ellingson holds an MFA from Antioch University, and her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Cagibi, Rejected Lit, Lost Balloon, and elsewhere. She lives in Milwaukee and can be found on Instagram @its_a_lemon_tree.



2021 Prose Chapbook Winner
Resistance, Sue Mell (an excerpt)
A Conversation with Sue Mell and Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar, Prose Chapbook Winner and Finalist, Maria S. Picone, Managing Editor

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