Fall 2023 • Vol. XLV No. 4 Luminous Gender Vessel |

Someone’s at the Door

Confused pessary for ossuary plastic ring for a house of bones a stone box for the sinking earth another way to imagine collapse prolapsarian the apple its seeds its vascular bundles marking one section faintly from another structures detectable to teeth to tongue to the belly and its acids its many processes structures which hold in place the longhorn’s muzzle the red pear ripe unripe ripe again which tilts which rattles against itself an empty house a duplex with two stories and the first floor falling in the walls peeking out the front door knock knock and here comes the old woman in her robe knock knock and she brings the walls with her to the screen softly now who’s there? softly now come the hooves so

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Photo of Donika Kelly

Donika Kelly is the author of The Renunciations, winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Poetry, and Bestiary, the winner of the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and a Kate Tufts Discovery Award. A recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Kelly is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and a founding member of the collective Poets at the End of the World. She currently lives in Iowa City, where she teaches creative writing at the University of Iowa.

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