content warning: death

Islet Exalt

by

Kendra Mills

Misanthropy is a word I may have learnt under duress,
in the aftermath of devotion.

I perceived god in a pair of oncoming headlights,

in the frigid air,
and the booming sky.

Time was first disfigured
by a familiar thalassic rhythm—

there was no clamour
when my father’s body reached its encore
to the music of death rattle,
his spine
curved like a question mark.

I went to the beach alone,
below the tideline

my stride aligned perfectly
with someone else’s footprints,

but they had been accompanied
by their dog.

Kendra Mills lives in Massachusetts. She is a recipient of the Elisa Brickner Poetry Prize and her work can also be found in Oyster River Pages, Helix Magazine, and the Flagler Review.