Kelly Weber

Where the Sky’s Milk Comes In

You want to return to that year of cats
and autumn, that place where prairie
is ghost hair roping up to brush the surface

of cornfields, condoms crumpled pearls
down the middle of town’s one road, buzzards
spiraled on sky bled from the slaughterhouse

and its men. That was the season of hungering
into shy hips and the cats who kept giving birth,
poaching refuse and dragging swollen bellies

to the teenage boys who fed them, slat-ribbed
and cratered in acne, coming into the soft bones
of their bodies and offering scabbed knuckles to

ferals before they were men. That was the season
when the cats were given secret offerings of tuna
with arsenic on porches, and all the boys grew quiet

in their fathers’ houses, looking at the deer
with milk-thin legs hanging off the edge
of another year, breath tightened to covenant—

and the season, too, of girls
and the boys who happened to them,
the girl who stood at the lip of the reservoir—when you

think that if you just walked back long enough
you’d find them there again, your knees
fringed in the pale harmonies

of katydids and grass stinging open
into so much light it lets the summer go in blades
and you could wade to a boy in the dark stable

of his father leaning his head against a mare’s flank
to weep where August pearls tighter and tighter
silence would open to you again.

Kelly Weber is the author of the debut poetry collection We Are Changed to Deer at the Broken Place (Tupelo Press, 2022) and the chapbook The Dodo Heart Museum (Dancing Girl Press, 2021). Her work has received Pushcart nominations and has appeared or is forthcoming in The Laurel Review, Brevity, The Missouri Review, Cream City Review, Palette Poetry, Southeast Review, Passages North, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Colorado State University and lives in Colorado with two rescue cats. More of her work can be found at