Three Poems | by Katie Quinnelly

Sparrow Pie

I rent the apartment upstairs from Marcus
His garage is full of junk he uses to make things like a shop vac or parts for his car
or a sparrow trap

Once, when I passed his garage, he was trying to find a silver rod
for his chicken coop
He lured me in with his homemade apple brandy

After searching for a while he became so frustrated he told me
he thinks about killing himself. When he looks in the mirror
he says he sees a monster

On the shelf in his garage is a box that contains
an old Halloween decoration. On the box written in sharpie it says
“Marcus the Carcass” and inside is a rubber zombie mannequin

Marcus says he feels so alone sometimes he wants to be the dead one

The sparrow trap sits at the end of the driveway
It’s a metal structure that lets sparrows in with no exit. After a few hours
they just die. Marcus says when he has six of them, he’ll make a sparrow pie

I walked past the sparrow trap this morning and there were
two sparrows. They looked exactly alike except that one of them
was alive, still trying to get out, and the other one was dead in the corner

 

 

 

Annie

A woman is stumbling through a horse pasture calling out her daughter’s name “Annie”
Behind her, we can see a State Trooper’s car is parked
haphazardly in front of a house with its lights flashing
We can still hear the woman outside calling
Inside, we follow the State Trooper through a house without furniture
There are dishes on the kitchen counter and some burnt popcorn

 

The State Trooper turns the corner to a long hallway
We follow him to the end, where he sees an antique-style door
It’s large and white, with four squares of intricate design

Here he finds the dead girl.
Outside, the woman is still calling out: “Annie”

We are now closer to the woman’s face
which is very red with blood rushing to her cheeks
She brings her hooves up to her face again to call out

 

She winces with them cupped around her mouth
We can now see that her teeth have grown larger
Her crying has turned into neighing. There are tears streaming down her jowls

Her mouth is gasping. Her face is elongated but human in skin
Her young neck is no longer strong enough to hold up the heavy head, and
her throat is crushed when the head drops back, yet she still calls out in wheezes
she falls onto her side in the grass and the flies
will swarm soon

 

 

 

Salt Lick Rd.

When I got the chance I ran that bumpy pink organ
over the surface of a white truck like it was coconut ice cream

a white truck with suicide doors and a manual transmission
a cream Toyota with the ivory still trying to shine out through the crud
the white pushing through the earth’s lips relentlessly like crooked teeth
the white exposing itself

on a hot day with road dirt kicked up on its body
road dirt now caked on my teeth and the insides of my cheeks
now raining down to settle in the hollow of my belly like moon dust
now upsetting the deliberacy of my diet, now swirling brand new cravings

 

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Katie Quinnelly is a climbing instructor living in West Virginia. Her work can be found in the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Fluent Magazine, and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine

 

 

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