Poetry — May 23, 2016 13:06 — 1 Comment

Three Poems – Krys Malcolm Belc

seven and a half years in philly.

for seven years now philadelphia drivers
have been trying to kill me. at first i

thought it was cause i was a queer. i would walk
hand in hand with anna and they’d be born suddenly,

bruised pontiacs, new cadillacs, jeeps, minivans,
breathless metal missionaries. on 45th street i’d

look helplessly into the coffee shop across from my
apartment for a witness. everyone looked down. then i had

a round-faced, solemn baby. drivers still had my number.
he had my wife’s eyes and they still tried to mash

him like potatoes. we left 45th street. i was pregnant.
teenagers with throwback mushroom cuts smoked loosies

pointed and yelled, a pregnant man! a second later, wheels
screeched and i skittered across york street on borrowed time.

today the five of us were out on south street, a traveling
queer circus. a car came within inches and i screamed


an hour later my kids stopped their poop jokes abruptly yelling
HEY at the same intersection, crumbs flying from their lips.

philadelphia’s been their only teacher.



south street checkout girl

i dig your thick forearms and your sly smile
when i admit one bagged cilantro bunch
is twins bound at the stems. it’s been a while
since i shopped alone. without kids i plunge
into flirtation, crossing nervous hands
across bound chest, wishing the boys were here.
they’re always grub-hand grabbing in the stands
for candy. when i’m with them, no one cares
about their queer-boy dad. i see your hands
are as big as mine are small. we a dime
a dozen in philly. i took off work
today. we all swarmed philly on borrowed time.
people like you getting killed, checkout clerk,
tall glass of water with your rose tattoo.
wish my queer-boy self could stay here with you.



when we pee

to governor mccrory

when i pee i have three tiny men with me.
isaiah is plastered to me in a carrier,
a mini-human oven i have to shift and shove
to unbuckle my belt. sean is always lifting the toilet
seat up and down, smearing everything everywhere
while samson waits til i do something wild
like focus on anything else but him
for one damn second and he belly slides
on the bathroom floor out the stall
out the door into the store and i’m gathering up
the others and hiking up pants and flushing
with my foot and washing my hands and sean’s
together under freezing cold running water and
all three of them are terrified of hand dryers?
so we all duck away from those like we’re dancing.
we run out the door holding hands and
everyone, everyone stares and wonders.


Krys Malcolm Belc is ending a career as a Philadelphia public school teacher to purse an MFA in Fiction at Northern Michigan University in Fall 2016. He writes mostly about Philadelphia, kids, and Philadelphia kids.

One Comment

  1. Melanie says:

    Loved these pieces! I’m tripping over expletives. When We Pee…expletive expletive expletive. Love.

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What am I?

Bioluminescent eye
That sees by the shine
Of its own light. Lies

Blind me. I am the seventh human sense
And my stepchild,

Scientists can't find me.

Januswise I make us men;
Was my image then—

Remind me:

The awful fall up off all fours
From the forest
To the hours…

Tick, Tock: Divine me.

-- Richard Kenney