The following poems and photos were submitted by Kelly Walker for the first issue of Placeholder Magazine. We did not have the space but still wish to showcase her talent.



this pain will be useful


I stand in window frames

as tall as I am, feet planted,

hands grasping the open sill

smoking cigarettes that taste like you.

I think thoughts of you,

and the dogs howl,

thinking of the moon.

my mother told me to let go.

I told her I would,

if I could find a place to

set you down.

but my hands are full of you,

the vice you mean to me:

and I realized this (too late)

that you, this love of you

is a vice that I grasp onto

like the lung full of stale smoke

that I exhaled

when you locked me in this room.

You are like those cigarettes I need

when I have no use of you.

As you fade, I hang

from windows, cigarette between fingers

and I want to sit on dark porches

put my lips around you

suck you in


I think thoughts of the moon

and the dogs howl,

thinking of you.


we talked about dying

for a while, I wanted to talk more

forever we went on sleeping

I changed the subject

I changed, everything to fit

it was wrong, those choices,

periods where commas should have been

but you and me, we’ve been parentheses

when a bookend was

what I needed. You came apart,

and I wanted inside your seams.

Instead I asked tiny questions,

full as I could make them with intentions

(but empty still

how I wish I could stitch you

piece to broken piece of me)