Breath, cottony and damp, poured into your mouth
from another mouth.  Lowing strings fill silences.  
This sound must be a cello.  On a road not empty,
not dark or untread, every passerby is a stranger,
all the lights red and blinking.  A floor so glossy

it doesn’t seem to touch any feet but reflects:
a poster, a clock.  Some may feel their bodies reverse.
So we are.  A white-haired caterpillar on the back
of a hand wades the hairs like flood water.  
Leaves turn orange and burn too early or too late

and our memory of exactly when somehow always lost.
A child dies.  So we are. Unvoiced conversations
spoken through the widening and narrowing
whites of eyes across a room.  Fly in the house.
Ants on the baseboard.  Water, cold and weeping,

walked to the sofa by a lover or mother.  Suspect
on the loose.  Close the windows.  A chill in our guts.  
So we are.  Endings are like lowering your own body
onto something wet and crumbling.  Loving—the good bits—
is like frantic scrambling for something you’ve misplaced.



Allison Blevins received her MFA at Queens University of Charlotte and is a Lecturer for the Women’s Studies Program at Pittsburg State University and the Department of English and Philosophy at Missouri Southern State University. Her work has appeared in such journals as Mid-American Review, the minnesota review, Nimrod International Journal, Sinister Wisdom, and Josephine Quarterly. She is the author of the chapbooks Letters to Joan (Lithic Press, 2019) and A Season for Speaking (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019), part of the Robin Becker Series. Her chapbook Susurration (Blue Lyra Press) is forthcoming in July 2019. She lives in Missouri with her wife and three children where she co-organizes the Downtown Poetry reading series and is Editor-in-Chief of Harbor Review.