Eli Coyle

My face feels like an emotional relief map

forever wet


My pockets are full of handkerchiefs 

that never dry 

My green corduroys lie crumpled 

on the hardwood floor

saved for later     

our bodies wrapped 

in the wax of each other


In the mornings the sky cracks open egg clouds     

raining private rain


cloud hidden

whereabouts unknown     

where I live alone like pith in trees—


mindless like tumbleweed

mindless like sages


Some days I carry on like a responsible hermit     

forgetting my name     

beneath the shade     

of prickly pear cacti 


silhouetting horned lizard 


Where my trajectory 

is a satellite crash landing 

the thought of her

a space island


And in the absence of her touch, I am a tourist     


I know when I’m home 

in her eyes 

that are the insides of arriving—   


flickering hot fireplaces     

seen through the windows     

of a winter solstice


Where some days my eyes 

are streetlights in the void

crisply burning


blinding the retinas     

of untraveled directions—


beneath the boughs of pine trees     


forever stuck between seasons


thawing and refreezing     


That I am just as lost as anyone

ever looking for celestial footprints.

About the Author

Eli Coyle received his MA in English from California State University-Chico and is currently a MFA candidate at the University of Nevada-Reno. His poetry and prose have recently been published or are forthcoming in: Barely South Review, California Quarterly, Camas, Caustic Frolic, Hoxie Gorge Review, New York Quarterly, The Normal School, Permafrost Magazine, Soundings East, and The South Carolina Review among others.