Ely Shipley
Ely Shipley Ely Shipley’s first book, Boy with Flowers, won the Barrow Street Press book prize judged by Carl Phillips, the Thom Gunn Award, and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. His poems and essays appear in the Western Humanities Review, Prairie Schooner, Willow Springs, Florida Review, Phoebe, Greensboro Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Diagram, Gulf Coast, Fugue, Third Coast, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from Purdue University and a PhD from the University of Utah. He currently lives in New York City and is an Assistant Professor at Baruch College, CUNY.

Like a Bird Which Alights Nowhere

The robin lies as if waiting for wind to tear from its breast its sun burst feathers. Head and neck wrenched sideways, still lifelike, one eye glints a speck of sun, sun in the center of that black eyelid stitched white. To touch, I bring my hand close. The wing lifts. From...

The witch doctor told me

first, you must cut out your heart. You can only imagine. It was not a flower and I’d forgotten to ask what to do with the heavy wad of pulp and puss torn, as if by talons of a bird not strong enough to lift it away