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Small Things

The webs of Walnut Creek are all spun 
white. In our new town, I notice each 
grocery store glare. Sticky stares
follow Omid down each aisle.

Still my love keeps quiet
hands. Wears kindness like salt 
and pepper stubble. I study him 
as he hums to houseplants.

It’s been hard for me to learn a love
so gentle. To believe him when he chants 
me close. Hushes gorgeous until I fall

asleep. In the morning, he scrambles eggs. 
Spatula in hand, he spots the lonely 
daddy-longlegs in a quiet corner. The wall weaver 
nestled next to light. He says, needing a home
is such a small thing to be forgiven for.

He lets the delicate geometry
stay. I am slow to learn
how to handle a living thing. I study Omid

as he smiles at spiders. I ask him
how? His speech soft as saffron, breath, a net
I lean against. He tells me he’s been called a terrorist
more times than he can count. His answer: save something 
smaller. Call each a guest. Leave all doors open.
Just because the world has called something
poison, he says, doesn’t mean we kill it.

​                                                                            —Kelly Grace Thomas

Kelly Grace Thomas is the winner of the 2017 Neil Postman Award for Metaphor from Rattle, a 2018 finalist for the Rita Dove Poetry Award, a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a Best of the Net nominee. BoatBurned, her first full-length collection, is forthcoming from YesYes Books in 2019. Kelly’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in: DIAGRAM, Tinderbox, Diode, Nashville Review, Sixth Finch, Muzzle and more. Kelly currently works to bring poetry to underserved youth as the Manager of Education and Pedagogy for Get Lit-Words Ignite. She is also the co-author of Words Ignite: Explore, Write and Perform, Classic and Spoken Word Poetry (Literary Riot). She is currently a reader for Tinderbox Poetry Journal. Kelly is also a screenwriter and novelist. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband. www.kellygracethomas.com