One Poem by ky li

To Keep My Five-Year-Old Eyes

                                           from peeping through
the banisters for St. Nick on Christmas Eve,
mother told me what her mother had told her:
Santa spits tobacco juice in the eyes, to blind
little children trying to sneak a peek of him!

Mortified, I’d lie sobbing in bed, eyes wakeful,
as the clock approached midnight each Yuletide
for the next five years, until my mouthy niece
disclosed the mysterious Kringle’s true identity.
Subsequently, I deduced the fraudulent existence
of the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy & God.

Years later, when confessing my childhood dread
of the holiday, due to her Appalachian aphorism,
she clarified: The blindness was only temporary!


for Georgia O’Keeffe

Rain’s reality slaps the face
of jimsonweed
from its pinwheel reverie
into the realization,
it must always bow
in servitude to the rose,
whose beauty,
precariously perched
above thorns,
would always warrant
men’s lust & women’s envy
before its own, save maybe
a vagabond or occasional artist
wandering the desert.


ky li is a folk poet in Louisville, Kentucky whose work has appeared in Brittle Star, The Oddville Press, The Ibis Head Review, West Trade Review, Word Fountain and the books Six Voices and Six Voices Two, published by Blackthorn Press.

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