Matt Kelsey

Giant Escapes the Womb



My mother needed an emergency

episiotomy. She needed meds, and more

meds, and even when it was all said and done

she needed reassurance I was hers.

She was short, her husband was short,

her parents were very short.

The mailman was freakishly tall,

but she hadn’t slept with him

yet. She didn’t remember the fallen

angel that seduced her the summer

before, which is for the best

since she might have been inclined to ask

if it hurt. She didn’t hear the doctor whisper

What the hell? She didn’t see him

snip my half-grown wing when he cut

the cord, then my skin, which he didn’t do

exactly right. He yelled IT’S A BOY!

but wasn’t entirely sure. To everyone’s surprise,

I was able to speak within minutes.

When handed to my brother, I said Brother.

When handed back to my mom, I said

I’m going to get my chance, you know.

Giant Loses His Virginity



I was trying to be romantic. My parents had left

the house for the night, so I set a table

in the yard. I decked it with flowers,

a thank you card, a small branch

from my favorite tree, and not just one

red cinnamon Yankee candle

but three. I stopped just short

of fetching flutes for champagne.

I was trying to be a gentleman,

and wasn’t about to take any chances,

so I cooked a five-course meal,

whipped up two desserts. Once we put

a dent in the food, the time had come.

Not having had access to porn,

let alone giant porn, I had turned to giraffes

for sex ed, for cues on how to begin. Here,

I said, please urinate on my bed.

Then I bent down especially low to avoid

a heart attack, and brayed, and peeled

back my lips. No sooner had my mind begun

to drift to the Vegas strip destroyed

by 50 Foot Woman Allison Hayes,

than it was over. We looked up at glow-in-the-dark

stars stuck to the ceiling. I was trying

to be sensitive, so I sweetly whispered

nothing into her ear.

If Once You Have Slept on an Island


MATT KELSEY is from Glens Falls, NY, and currently lives in Chicago. He has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and teaching fellowships from the University of Washington for their writing programs in Rome and Friday Harbor. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry JournalBest New PoetsPoetry NorthwestPainted Bride Quarterly, and elsewhere.