Measure Blue

There are browning crescents,

where I dug my nails into waxy mottled flesh.

The moon is out with a rising sun- waning sharp,

soapy pear and thumbprint smooth bark.

There are many different kinds of cyanoscopes,

holding the green up transforms what kind of sky it is.

Arm up with branches- I notice-

early frost or the dogs did it.

White cat in a pear tree, rigor mortis.

Not fit for a Christmas song.

I bite into a death scene,

measuring blues and greens and dull fur.

Soft salt and French soap in a clawfoot tub,

pears can decide what color blue you see.

Eyes stuck open, early frost  

Ankle Biter

 This dog will only drink from my Achilles tendon and

I use a spoon and dig 

every morning, 

pouring it into one of those

Maze bowls


 he drinks it slower

I am so thankful that this dog needs

someone like me

to live

            Dizzy, anemic

His eyes were gold when he was born,

so gold I smelled bitter almond,

like in the beginning of  

Love in the Time of Cholera

The color of death isn’t black, it is

a soft amused gold. 

little bursts of


red now

I can’t put it down I-

I love this dog.

through to the bone now

There are many strong smells

            in the interim 

Iron, almonds, and too warm dogs

Sleep Paralysis List

  1. A cloud of failed stars showed me a door to eternity, inside were two sitting rooms and a showcase of Faberge eggs.

2. Once a cat with no eyes wept by my bedside.

3. A creature with a plate for a face and elongated arms would run at me whenever I turned my head toward the door.

4. I am restrained by an invisible giant, chuckling in white noise, “I’m much bigger than you.”

5. A witch laying down on my dresser top tells me that the dead don’t go anywhere. “They’re all still right here.”

6. A being that is a shimmer in the air tells me with a burst of blinding light, “Do not look.” When I wake from that one, I google angels.

7. I was told by the dead that remembering them traps them here.

8. Spooned between two different forms of lightning, I said aloud to something in the dark, waiting to hear a truth-

“There has never been a beginning.”

I felt it kiss me cold after that, both of us smiling.


I imagine us in our houses, clinging to our walls, 

communing with

 a horse skull dreaming in clay foundation.

Canopic jars purring under roses 

in the wallpaper.

We may bow ourselves into dumbwaiters and sleep.

Curl up between two concretes ribs, in our grandmother’s houses

with the beehive that’s holding good luck instead of honey.

“Ah,”, my grandmother says,

“That’s what all that humming was about.”

When we are thirsty

We will slide the light switch by the sink aside

grab our favorite mugs

 turn the tap and drink lead

The mice now living on our places on the sofa will be less alarmed at 

disembodied arms then we would have been. 

thousands of years from now,

 when mice archaeologists uncover us 

cocooned in pink insulation foam, 

they’ll claim that their ancestors put us there

to ward off

 some kind of plague. 

Mckenzie Lee lives in Minnesota where she explores writing, sleep paralysis, and the geography of dreams.

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