portion of the artwork for Kelly Boyker's poetry
Kelly Boyker


I throw him out the window—
but he is already dead.

Standing there wavering,
opaque and very ancient;
so sad he makes me tired—
mistakes and sepulchral apologies.

I spit his love out in a napkin.
I pull him from me like a splinter.

I say:
I have forgotten forgetting you and I will not remember your name.

I throw this ghost from my window.


Fell into an alley dumpster
but was discovered at the dump.

I picture him tagged with a number
in a cold metal drawer;
mute but talking persistently
as the dead do—
chock full of stories.
Told in a language we are all just dying to learn
as he was clumsily learning to die.

Accidental overdose after which the victim was stripped of
personal valuables and pushed out an upstairs window into
a dumpster on First and Wall Streets in Seattle.

People said:
Serves him right.
People said:
One less junkie.
Other heroin addicts nodded sagely:
It’s the price you pay.

He tells me:
Hell is only heaven from the other side.
I tell him to move, he is blocking my view.


Rooftops, rooftops.

He is standing there,
he is looking out the window.

He is here but not here—
we touch but cannot feel.

Our life is one hour after an air raid.

The houses are empty,
everything is left in place.
Food on plates, smoldering cigarettes,
doors hanging ajar.

Static on the television.

We stand here not belonging,
leftover from some other place.

This is not our apartment,
this is not our story,
this is not our time.

He will not look at me
and I cannot remember his name.

The window is open.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 33 | Summer 2011