Chelsea R. G. Kachman

The Life


You have come

            into the life,



Sometimes -- desire,

            imagistic want of

    your in-between skin



two hands -- romance

            in tree-sap, embarrassed

    at the question to the self:



Your conferences, your thorns

            your stubborn insistence

    on no longer keeping yourself



tightly in some container,

            you     now     freely



Apocalypse Dwelling


Person’s geography: the permanence of its forming    shaping    molding us into a collective force   into ourselves


I run and I run and I run from the city’s spokes, but the wheels follow me with tattooed tracks    so red on my skin   burned down buildings


make their still-crumbling halos on the inside of my eyelids


The smell   burning    sewer steam underground rising up    sound of no one and nothing at noon in downtown   but for the few being watched by the many


with distrust and a craving hate


. . .


where we lived   heads as attics, forehead wrinkles as slats of board    where we did not live    bodies as tudors, blue window shutters as eyes    what color we are not    doors painted purple        


what urban photographs we put on the wall in a nearby cafe...    They are less discrete about these secrets of the dead:


a red bicycle waiting    leaning    against the building


. . .


I run and I run and I run and I run and I


. . .


Where will the many ants go    in their many hidden dwellings     when the outside moves in like cockroaches staking a claim in the bathroom?

Chelsea R. G. Kachman

Chelsea R. G. Kachman lives in Portland, OR, where she is an MFA and MA student at Portland State University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Welter, Polaris, The Packingtown Review, The Portland Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, and others. Previously, she lived in metro-Detroit, where she ran inner-city writing workshops in Detroit Public Schools.