How to Clean Your Eyes | Elizabeth Kuelbs

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Elizabeth Kuelbs writes for adults and young readers, often with an emphasis on the natural world and our place within it. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is the author of the poetry chapbooks How to Clean Your Eyes (dancing girl press, 2021) and Little Victory (Finishing Line Press, 2021). Her fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and her poetry has won awards from the California State Poetry Society and the Ventura County Poetry Project. Visit her online at



Conductor of Cages

What’s missing is a conductor, proposes an agent in the cage
of crying babies. Oh, but we have one, I submit. One with no

ear for the symphony or concerto, for the sonata or cantata
that swells through the blood and beats like sun and love in the

body, that pulls us to sing and dance and sweat, that velvets us
to sleep at our mothers’ breasts, in our fathers’ lullaby arms,

that hums through our possible tracks. Our conductor, no. He
thrums to the sob and the wail, to the smoking stacks, to the

claps of the slavering womp womp devils, to the severing chain-link
clang, urging all to the blare, to the brain-bursting din, with the

flails of his flaming baton. No. What’s missing, I propose,
is the key.