Passenger – Charles Kell

The man on my back
has legs wrapped around
my middle tight. Body lock.
He steers by pulling
a handful of hair. Toe-
nails dig into my hips.

This is my sentence.
For walking away when you
my help. For clawing the opposite
wall when trying to sleep.
For drunk scream. Not believing.
For jumping from the car
before the glass broke.

We’re running toward
a shed on the hill. My back
bends to break & legs
sway. Each step closer
the door moves farther away.

Charles KellCharles Kell is a PhD student at The University of Rhode Island and editor of The Ocean State Review. His poetry and fiction have appeared in The New Orleans Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, IthacaLit, The Pinch, and elsewhere. He teaches in Rhode Island and Connecticut.