The Black Suitcase


– for Cecilia


Sentinel in my closet with black parted lips,

a siren with self-repairing teeth,

beckoning me to fill her with my life again.

She’s got a taste for rough flights

over continents and oceans,

the tango down jetways.


Her wheels toughened on LA sidewalks,

New York stairs and London lifts.

This passionate suitcase wants nothing more

than to go back to Paris,

bump along cracked pavement,

soak up language, unzip desire.


To purge my black coat,

the one I wore at Place Vendôme,

the night I fell out the door on my way to you.

Photo by Alexa LaSpisa


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About Author

Collin Kelley is the author of the American Library Association-honored poetry collection Render (2013, Sibling Rivalry Press) and Better To Travel, which will be reissued by Poetry Atlanta Press in 2015. Sibling Rivalry Press is also the publisher of his Venus Trilogy of novels Conquering Venus, Remain In Light and the forthcoming Leaving Paris. For more information, visit


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