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Ringing - Kelli lage

My buried grandmother always calls when I’m sleeping.

I will answer as if I am extinct,

as if I am a wing,

as if I choked down heaven to get here.

Bare skin, crossing out familiar

and knotted throats.

I swear to all that’s holy,

I’ll cast this cry to voicemail

if it’s not you in the dining room,

with my toothache scrubbed clean.

"Many of my pieces explore the unknown and awkwardness of young adult life, of what it means that the 20s are fading, yet I still have so much of my past hanging onto my thoughts. It's okay to not have it all sorted out. I carry pieces of where I've been and try to share them through my words, while I also work out who I am and who I'm working toward being." -- notes from the artist


KELLI LAGE is a poetry reader for Bracken Magazine and Best of the Net nominated poet. She is the author of Early Cuts, and forthcoming chapbook, I'm Glad We Did This. Lage's work has appeared in Stanchion Zine, Maudlin House, The Lumiere Review, Welter Journal, and elsewhere. Website:

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