doe-eyed limp and clammy

Kathleen Hellen

who wasn’t lipglossed stupid, wasn’t trickedout platinum


how we used to skinnydip in moonlit pinkcatawba, snort when fallingshort, our brothers quarterbacking—that needlepimp they beat the shit out of—that stayawayfromhim—who couldlive up to the furniture our mothers plasticcovered?


Kathleen Hellen is the author of The Only Country was the Color of My Skin (2018), the award-winning collection Umberto’s Night, and two chapbooks, The Girl Who Loved Mothra and Pentimento. Nominated for the Pushcart and Best of the Net, and featured on Poetry Daily, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Letters and Commentary, Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, The Massachusetts Review, New Letters, North American Review, Poetry East, and West Branch, among others. For more on Kathleen visit