Poetry from Kate DeBolt

Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

Editor’s Note: The following ekphrastic poems are responses to artist Barton Lidice Beneš’ “Lethal Weapons” series—specifically, the pieces “Silencer” (1993) and “Molotov Cocktail” (1995)—in which the artist filled various vessels with his own HIV-positive blood. To see each poem’s corresponding artwork, click on its title.



i wouldn’t really kill you but
if i did

it wouldn’t be such a
big deal : i mean we’d keep it

quiet : because didn’t you hate it
when a game of cops & robbers

would end : with just the loudest
biggest kid

we knew : pressing a twig
to your temple, screaming



Molotov Cocktail

in the span of several seconds a bloody
firework blooms : wet sparks on red wind

& how the scalloped eaves of Main St.
shiver off their bunting

& how a whisper gallops
through the horrified crowd

did you get any on you : did you get any on you
did you did you did


Kate DeBolt holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, and is an Assistant Poetry Editor for The Four Way Review. She has work forthcoming in The High Window and The Boiler Journal; she has been previously published in Noble / Gas Qtrly, The Adroit Journal, Dialogist, Bluestem, and Plain Spoke, among others.

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