Kelsey L. Smoot

It was not transactional. I swore it.

Browbeaten, in no position to further

extend my credit, I gripped the railing with

fervent fingers, and sucked at the air,

which made a sharp hissing sound

through the crispness of the night. Faint

moonlight danced quietly overhead,

obscured by the hearty scoop of clouds

that rested on the crowns of the

evergreens. A broken heart searched my

eyes for something which remains a

mystery to me, before taking slow, elfin

steps back down the dirt path which

parted the woods. I could not deny

the small hum of joy that warmed my chest. 

Solitude smelled of fresh mint

and molasses. I shut my eyes, and for a

moment, mused concernedly on how

damaged a person might be to seek more

darkness while standing in the dark. I

stirred only when a menacing wind song

indicated that I needed to keep moving.

Yes, I nodded to myself. 

Yes. Yes. 

Kelsey L. Smoot is a full-time PhD student in the interdisciplinary social sciences and humanities. They also hold a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, Davis, and a Master’s degree in Liberal Studies from the University of Miami. They are a poet, advocate, and frequent writer of critical analysis. Their recent poetry can be found in Cathexis Northwest Press, Prometheus Dreaming, and elsewhere.