Kelly Matthews English


Let me teach you how to lie.

Each night locks turned


we sing: I’m not afraid to die. 

Deep in sleep we meet


a heavier freight; face the stone

space inside the mind. You see


I am afraid of everything

because I cannot close my eyes.


Once a mother lost her children

and saw forever


how they looked at Death,

still back he gazed–



red underripe lips, they were gone


into the rest of it

and all that came, a dumb-rent nothing.


I want you to repeat after me.

When he comes, I want you to sing it


just like this. I want you to

close your eyes to the dark and


use this trick, steal away.