1. My name, Kelsey
meaning the wind off an island
sometimes an ocean breeze, shade
under lank palm to cool the sun
Sometimes ferocious, cold chop
storm whipping fast into a hurricane
a name being choked out
as each island—
Rare bird feather, tropical fruit grove
volcanic stone, desert, hundred-year-old
tortoise shell, buried treasure—sinks
into the waters of a rising ocean
My name now a warning call, Kelsey!
extinguished as all this earth drowns.
2. I wonder what the name is
for the wind that’s generated by
the combustion of bombs, or the name
for wind over a newly dug grave
I wonder what the name is
for the wind that kicks up a dust,
and the wind that comes drifting
heavy with mist. I wonder if
there is a name for the wind that first
compels a given bird to fly. Or
the name for the wind that is heavy
with the sound of bees, migrating.
The name for spring’s first wind
and fall’s. The name for the wind
with the first snow, the first rainbow
of the year.
I wonder what the name is. If
there is a name. Like Bullwazzle.
That’s the name of the wind
that blows on April Fool’s Day.
Cornswaple, that’s the name
for the harvest wind. And Moonswine,
that’s the name for the wind
with a superstitious streak. And
Burdleberry. That’s the name
of the wind that’s for best picking
wildflowers in. And, during the first rain
of the year, Thenakedrun is the name
for the wind drummed up by the thumping
wet bodies of hundreds of UC Santa Cruz
students running, around campus in only
Coddletint, always comes before
Lightning. And Crapdangit, Crapdangit!
the wind that makes technology
go haywire. A Hoozananny,
is the best wind for swapping
a bottle of wine around in.
Punperpancake, the wind that smells
of waffles and beckons brunch.
I want to know the names,
all the names, and fly a kite in them,
every day that I can.
Kelsey Bryan-Zwick (she/they) is a bilingual poet from Long Beach, California. Disabled with scoliosis, her poems often focus on trauma, shedding light on this isolating experience. Her poems can be found in Spillway, Trailer Park Quarterly, and Cholla Needles. A Pushcart Prize and The Best of the Net nominee, her first full-length book of poems, Here Go the Knives, is to be published by Moon Tide Press in January 2022. www.kelseybryanzwick.wixsite.com/poetry.