Kelly Hoffer

a translation


myosotis bindweed myosotis,
bindweed viola bind
digitalis, weed
chicory. amaranth
bind bellis perennis bind
weed bellis perennis bellis perennis.


bindweed chicory, weed
amaranth bind chicory. viola
tricolor, collinsia weed


wild geranium bind ranunculus, weed
amaranth viola
canina bindweed petasites
weed convulvullus
weed wild carrot weed crocus
versicolor bind
prunus padus,
plains coreopsis bind
viola tricolor.

sweet william


forget me not in the scorpion grass,
my heart’s ease is dressed
in lady’s glove, fastened
bachelor’s button. the prince
feather wakes the day’s eyes for just
the sight of daisy daisy—


and so, I’m nursing hurtsickle, become your
love-lies-bleeding in a bluebottle. love,
in idleness, my innocence turned
to stonecrop.


a dove’s foot prates the lesser celadine, as you
my velvet heath
dog hung with butterbur,
proffer me the devilgut
in lace, in a cloth
of silver and I
cough up the birdcherry,
a golden tickseed, and watch
my heart              cease.

KELLY HOFFER is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in poetry. She was recently a Creative Writing Teaching Fellow at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. Her work was recognized as a finalist for the 2017 American Literary Review Award in poetry and as a finalist for the 2018 Omnidawn Single Poem Broadside Contest. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in BathHouse Journal, Radar Poetry, and Turbine/Kapohau, The Bennington Review, and Hubbub. She is currently a PhD student in English at Cornell University, and so she lives in Ithaca, NY, very close to a waterfall.