Hell and Third Street Four Poems By Sarah Mackey Kirby

Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine, Sarah Mackey Kirby

Sarah Mackey Kirby



I found you folded

like worn sweats faded into

the Tuesday doldrums.

Succumbed to monotony

of a grapefruit-lodged gut

that never eased its tension.


Into feel-nothing-refuge

that patterned your mornings.

Counting days in iced tea sips

and commutes to work.

Gone to the protected place

of dryer-lost socks.

Waiting to be lifted

from mindless trips

to the garbage can.


Long past the shock

that rendered you collapsed.

Past the brine

that pooled from your chin

into the nighttime ether,

bleeding its darkened howls.


You were folded.

Left to weight-press echoes.

How our love began…

A father’s remnants

crushing his son.


Hell and Third Street


It was winter loft corner

of Hell and Third Street.

Smoke-blessed fog

slogging don’t-give-a-shits.

Nighttime-knock boys

majoring sly winks.

Impressing to press clits.


Girlfriends crowded car ride,

last-minute lipstick touchup.

No elbow-room,

sweet spritz,

misguided midnight club

dance freedom below

December-glow stars.


Au revoir lime twist in

guitar-kissed icy air

road trip. Snaps to hip-hop

and punk rock sound, driving

down to What’s-that-town,

Deep South Louisiana.

Laughs in knotted sheets,

cold draft blows of


we-were-thinking breeze.


Spin-walking cusp of

just twenty-one fun

and plain ol’ Shew,

if-Momma-knew sin.

Chill-rain morning


days. Shaking heads

at can’t-do-thats

and those no-ways.

Orange juice hugs

’mid don’t-care gleam.

Pretty-ruse dreams.

With time to spare.


 Nighttime Ritual


Teeth brushed, cozy covers waiting

tired days, holding close

cloudy dark through window

emitting star stains.

She, in pain, smiles away.

He, the same, for her sake.

I love you, she says.

Me too.

Time of twisted nights,

pressed skin

turned defeat of scarcer breath

and rhythm hard-to-beat.

Forced to wait for

slower news and calm-down fate.

For early days’ sultry plays

to come around again.

And kiss-led moves.

Where troubles collapse

tangled legs bliss.




She died sunk into disbelief.

Splayed Greek

tragic allegory.

Her welded

Plato imprisonment

freed without a phone call

or goodbye text.


Naked mind

shaken from bondage

in bed smelling

wet, shampooed hair.

popcorn-dotted nightstand

fragments of ambiguity, turned



Old school jam background

false indicator of a happy mood.

Years of uneven rhythm,

tear-dripped throw, dried

to shadows wrapping the night.


Wing-dressed for the taking.

Dreams slipped

in denim pockets,

to be forever carried

by those who loved her most.


Bio:  Sarah Mackey Kirby holds a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.  Her poetry, writing, and photography have been published in Dream Noir and US News & World Report. She and her husband share their Kentucky home with a sweet cat and misbehaving Cockapoo.