One minute he’s looking at you, full-size, in anguish,
and the next he’s a stricken Harryhausen figurine.
Someone with cooler blood would be wishing
for a compendium of diseases but you’re
pressed too personally into the event
to separate symptoms from suffering.
If it can be thought to do so, horror
flows like gas from an unlit oven,
well past the point where it makes
any sense at all to strike a match.
When he says there’s this awful
pounding in my head no one has
the heart to tell him it’s not in your head.
Dore Kiesselbach’s first collection, Salt Pier (Pittsburgh, 2012), won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize and contains work for which he received Britain’s Bridport Prize. New work appears or is forthcoming in AGNI Online, Malahat Review, Poetry Review and Stand.