Girl Reading in Her Apartment, Alone

A red demon once tried
to grab her running in the park.
Check under your bed, nightmare
door lock. Check

the left pocket of your coat
to see if the number is still safe.
Seventy-seven dollars in the bank.
There, on her bed, leaning on

an elbow with eyes open. Not
sleeping, not moving an inch
except for breath which moves
her chest, a low sound from her

mouth. A blanket presses down.
A fire inside her spills light, a lake
in the middle of the city. How intently
she watches, the world—open

& close—beautiful sky, so many angles


Artwork © DJ Barry


Charles Kell is a PhD student at The University of Rhode Island and editor of The Ocean State Review. His poetry and fiction have appeared in The New Orleans Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, and elsewhere. He teaches in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

DJ Barry is a self-taught artist that lives in Middlesex, Vermont. He uses a unique method involving photo editing software, stencils, and spray paint. He often infuses pop culture into his work. Oddities are his specialty.