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Poetry / Kell Renegar

'At the Intrepid’

Issue 2. June 21, 2021


There’s this club called the Intrepid.
A deep down pub that sits below the river,
It hangs there like the belly of a shipwreck, cradling the waterway.
Stained glass windows hold tight against the depths pressing in and invite ghostly greens,
Bottle blues,
To dance on the walls as skiffs pass overhead.
An inch of saltwater varnishes the floor
And echoes candle flames back up, mirrored.
And though the dark of the walls works hard to swallow all light,
Skinny wicks persist.
And the floor never settles.
Waterlogged game cards splat down on tables and cider sloshes in tandem.
Steaming platters of brined seagull are served.
The humidity slipperies up metal cutlery and your shriveled fingers grasp tighter.
When was the last time you ate anything but sea stew?
The lower level is where the water becomes knee-deep, and to get down there
One must brave touching the salty-barnacled railing
and blood-leech smell.
The trading done down there is hush-hush.
Sick-fish and the wet beasties that can fit into jars and under jacket wings.
Tentacles brush up against the windows while goods are exchanged,
River-squids as witnesses to inky affairs.
Reptiles wrap around shoulders of the bartenders,
Yellow, pink, white-eyed, and watching for hands reaching for hips.
A single shot to the stained glass window will bring a cold, cold death.
There’s this club called the Intrepid.

Kell Renegar is a poet, novelist, and student from New Jersey who has been writing since 2018. She takes inspiration from the gothic and horror genres to inspect feelings of unease through a lens of tenderness. Renegar’s 2021 resolution is to push herself as a writer and explore genres/subjects she has yet to practice. In her free time, she enjoys learning about history and playing video games. You can find her on twitter @kellrenegar.

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