A Season for Speaking: poems by Allison Blevins. Number 20 in the Robin Becker Chapbook Series, selected by editors Crystal Boson and Ron Mohring.
Cover image: Marsha Boston, “By a Thread”
Publication: February 11, 2019 [100 copies]
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. In 2017, she was named a finalist for the Cowles Poetry Book Prize, the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, and the Moon City Poetry Award. Her work has appeared in such journals as Mid-American Review, the minnesota review, Nimrod International Journal, Sinister Wisdom, and Josephine Quarterly. She lives in Missouri with her wife and three children.
All birds forget how to fly. Crows and blackbirds
walk through parks and cul-de-sacs on invisible stilts.
All schools chain their doors. Women and girls pray wordlessly
in supermarkets between plastic forks and bottled water.
All breezes stop whistling through the stray hairs
of teenagers’ necks. Wind purses lips and blows.
All is silent as a man in a black bowler hat. I watch my children
play at the park. My son shoots a stranger’s son with his finger.
A girl drags a small stuffed dog behind her on a leash.
The shot hits his temple. The bang is metal piercing flesh,
a pin striking the casing of a round; the noise
bounces off the spiral slide, picnic tables, grills
enshrined in concrete. I can’t explain why the skin folding
between my legs is tight like a scar, why men now brush
against me in crowds as if I am a shudder. I can’t explain
how it feels in the bowels, on the teeth, on the still smooth bits
of skin in the pits of my elbow–this is where it stings
and hums when you suddenly disappear.
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