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Carol Ellis

As Usual


The manzanita in flames red bark burning red bark burning fire’s desire to burn each passing branch the birds lift and remember branches and sing of branches the lost way they linger outstretched the cloth of leaves those hands that wave the flames away just down the hill Stella moves from one house to another she eats lunch at an Ethiopian restaurant and calls to tell me she is exploring her neighborhood meanwhile a tortoise crawls around a solitary blue shoe after lunch she drives over the bridge to Cuba in love’s imagination driving ten times across country stopping at a variety of motels at the end of hot days spent in the car without air conditioning stopping to swim in the motel pools where water slaps the cement sides and wraps herself in a Midwest motel towel then sits down to dry and watch red bark burning where else

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Carol Ellis was born in Detroit, Michigan and lives in Portland, Oregon. She’s been around the academic block with her Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa. She is the author of two chapbooks: HELLO (Two Plum Press, 2018), and I Want A Job (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Her poems and essays are or will be published in anthologies and journals including ZYZZYVA, Comstock Review, The Cincinnati Review, Saranac Review, and Cider Press Review. In 2015 she spent time in Cuba writing a book and giving readings.

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