Priscilla Atkins | Drinking the Pink

Atkins_Drinking the Pink_web cover frontDrinking the Pink: poems by Priscilla Atkins. Number 2 in Volume Five, and the 21st title published in our limited-edition Summer Kitchen Chapbook Series. Now available.

Cover image: vintage fabric swatch, “Pinecrest Novelty.” Mitchell & Church Company, The Waisting and Suiting House, Binghamton, New York. Series design by Ron Mohring.

Published: August 11, 2017 [49 copies]
28 pages


Originally from Urbana, Illinois, Priscilla Atkins studied at Smith College, the University of Hawaii and Spalding University, where she received her MFA. She has a collection, The Cafe of Our Departurefrom Sibling Rivalry Press. She lives in Holland, Michigan. 

The Spanish Professor

We met in the jumble of professorial swagger
gathered around a perennial coffee-tea-muffin table
at the new faculty orientation. It was her height
and long hair, a sweep of arms and hands, 
that first caught my attention.
Her short khaki skirt and sleeveless blouse
stood out like crocus sprouts
in a navy blue field. And her legs, 
long as runways zooming down to the floor,
shimmered in frosted hosiery, on which
a small, furry green caterpillar was swimming slowly upstream. 
It was the perfect match, that leg, and that caterpillar,
as if the two had met through mutual attraction.
And I was torn whether to act on art or etiquette or sheer whim,
when the drone of officialdom sucked me in
until lunch, when, over grapes and melon 
and innocuous chicken, this Argentine daughter and I
opened like butterflies, floating from past lives,
to love’s errors, to what in the hell are we doing here,
our songful chatter unfurling like Rapunzel’s hair
that no one dared climb lest they be dropped
into bright-colored fields where a stranger
might reach out and brush your skin,
not to take anything away,
but because you are alive and full of wings.