Old Fashioned (Kelli Lage)

My power went out

so, I did what they did in the old fashioned days.

I bled over a fire lamp and used the soot as ink.

I spread my message across the oak table

knowing it’d be clean 

by the time dawn stumbled from dusk’s lap.

Dust I make doesn’t mingle with 

what’s fallen from the skin of others.

I’m left with a body made of old film reels.

I pick at the stars until one detaches from night’s tangles.

I wait for a flood of coal.

But instead, the heavens just sputter a dry cough

and go back to looking at everyone else.


Kelli Lage is earning her degree in Secondary English Education and works as a substitute teacher. She is a poetry reader for Bracken Magazine. Lage’s work has appeared in The Lumiere Review, Welter Journal, Watershed Review, and elsewhere. Website: www.KelliLage.com.


image: “Fire Rose”: Kristin Entler was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 6 months old, and first came out as LGBT+ several years after her diabetes diagnosis at 12 years old. She currently serves as Poetry Editor for NELLE and lives with her partner and their dog, Azzie, who maintains that he gets all his stubbornness from both his parents. Entler’s other photos & work can be found in  publications such as Complete Sentence Lit.The Bitter Southerner, Hobart, and Poet Lore among others.