About Mikels Skele

Poet. Explainer. Foreigner-at-large.

Some days you look out

Some days you look out
and it might be raining,
though the sun is pouring
liquid gold over the
trees and sidewalks,

or you see a dandelion
seed parachute by and it’s
dead January and
ten below zero and you
can’t feel your fingers,

or you hear a single last
cicada still singing
desperately somewhere
in the autumn underbrush,

and you shrug because
you know tomorrow
it will all make sense,
though it won’t.

It will not be the sun
or the rain or January
or a cicada’s shrill song
that has changed,
but you.


We don’t know yet
who did this heinous thing
but this is for sure
it wasn’t one of us
one of the nice, the reasonable
the kind, the faithfuil,
the minders of our own business
while the world flounders
around us

no, an other must have done it
a darker lighter fainter
or more well defined
not like everyone here
a not leaver of things be
or letter of bygones be
bygones like all our
marvelous selves

or even if – God, our God who
made us as we are so as to distinguish us
from them, forbid – it turns out
one of us or someone
who resembles us did
this thing

it was someone who was
alone, or mad, or had
a grievance, or used our tools
for purging the unequal
against us, his kin

and so, was clearly
not one of us
but a cruel simulacrum
of ourselves, whom
we dearly love

Elegy for two lives

In my mind’s lens, my father’s
Face is smooth and petrified
Like an ancient lake
Steeped in mountains

It’s true, isn’t it,
There can be only one infinity
This is impossible:
Life without limits

Moons exist for no one
Though everyone thinks
They’re just
For dreaming

Question, they say, all of it,
Take nothing as given,
Give nothing up, erase all
Boundaries, be eternal.

He tried, and I tried after him.
Only we didn’t know
His freedom was my razor wire,
My freedom was his failure.

Uneasy lies the head

We ring the years in and out
like good paying customers
flashing credit cards

old year gone, be sure to
activate the new,
the last one spent ragged
as a frayed umbilical cord,

bells and carols gone
wasted and unused,
discarded with a shrug.

Remember when we had
never heard of Wuhan?

A face, tall

a face, tall, engaging
flickers in and out
of consciousness
strong and fragile
here and gone,
all the years and minutes
piled up against the door,
a window not open,
just cracked, the strain
too much

for a poor sparrow of a man
to peck at like some lonely
grass filled afternoon
misted edgewise into memory
out of reach, out of reach

these years have brought me here
I can’t say it’s much to look at
but here I am, regretting
nothing and everything at once

and still…
that face