Sarah Mackey Kirby

Metaphors Smell of Hell in Winter

My head lives in the liquor store’s back alley
where last night’s tossed bottle glass
assembles itself in the sparkly stacked
galley of some stranger’s rum depression.

My synapses, a snow-day disconnection
searching for angels to piece together words
that lose themselves in the icy avenue trek
between my brain matter and swollen tongue.

I cry at night when no one’s watching.
Thinking takes effort as winter forms inside
the moonlight. Sometimes I feel too Sylvia.
And wish so hard I was Maya that I can hear her sing.

How terrified my new brain is, this mosaic of the
mind-damned. Broken-neuron moments
stretching their electric limbs. My writing,
glistening, water frozen thin to cover cracks.


Sarah Mackey Kirby is a Kentucky poet and writer. She is the author of the poetry collection, The Taste of Your Music (Impspired, 2021). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Chiron Review, Ploughshares, Muddy River Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She and her husband live in Louisville.

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