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Sunday, January 22, 2017


by Allison Blevins

Photo by Fletcher Gravy

I think about the absolutes of motion when I’m naked,
how a pendulum swings, how a scale unbalanced
must wobble, how my skin ripples, weight unsteadies.

Something alive is buzzing in the kitchen, leg
against leg, string against bow, the sound
of nothing, boxed and electrified.  A blackness

circles in the sky above my son’s school most afternoons.
I could say blackness as if dawn or sleep
or blood rising to air were sinister, but the feeling

on my skin is more like dust, fine and granular, settling
even in my throat.  I could say the circling and flapping
and cawing will alight as sediment, in the corners,

in the morning, after God has closed his eyes,
after God has opened them again.  My children
cannot see my body unclothed.  When I walk naked,

I am emperor.  I parade the living room, parade
an ocean of blind children.  The images they steep in
invisible.  On the playground at my son’s school

children in puffed and quilted jackets gather and ring
around a solitary boy.  The children silent, the boy’s mouth
buzzes, all the feathers, dark and rustling, fall from above.

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 poetry has appeared in such journals as the minnesota review, Sinister Wisdom, Pilgrimage, and Josephine Quarterly.  She lives in Joplin, Missouri, with her wife and two children.