Kelly Grace Thomas


Tonight I walk in an orchard
of low gods.
Prayers rot just beyond
fingertip preach.

I climb the trees bowheaded
in hush. I sweat silent

I want this body
to do what history oathed.

After the bloodwork,
I church my voice.
I altar my lips.

Force faith to be the only alphabet
I vowel.

Lately every please
I pocket
has lungs

tinier than mine.



She told me: pain needs a witness
knowing, once or twice, the fruit of me
has been peeled.

Under this dress: eggs and arms.
A one-eyed doll:  births
and breaks.

I live under shell cracked sky
sleep with undecided bones.

Female: a storm I first noticed
in the clouds.
It has taken all
of me

to rain
this hard.


Kelly Grace Thomas is the winner of the 2017 Neil Postman Award for Metaphor from Rattle and a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Kelly was also a 2016 Fellow for the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop. Kelly’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in: Nashville Review, The Boiler, Sixth Finch, Muzzle, Rattle, PANK and more. Kelly’s chapbook, Zersetzung, was a finalist for the 2017 Lorien Prize from Thoughtcrime Press. Kelly works to bring poetry to underserved youth as the Manager of Education and Pedagogy for Get Lit-Words Ignite. She lives in Los Angeles and is working on her debut novel Only 10,001. For more of her work, visit