Home Poetry Three Poems by Alison Palmer

Three Poems by Alison Palmer

Three Poems by Alison Palmer


This morning is sickening— 
                                  the photograph on my desk from before
            the day the birds quit
                                                circling, you
a pair of silent eyes—


And how
            often can I write beauty
                                    into pain—

I want you
to know again the stunning curves of your calves, the
                        invitations from the bend in your arms
to come, dance—

But these are merely waking dreams. I begin
                                               as any cloud—
            will I be made of ice or water,
                                   will it be a low-lying day—

Our faces, fringes
                       on a sun-stiff background—
                                               I wish to unspool
       you down to bone where
                   no heart can be—

We Are Not Tied to Our Body’s Weight on Earth

So I lift you.

You are breath in my cupped hands.

You are less than air.

The flowers miss you.

I’ve become how they can’t blossom.

This time last year maybe laughter.

I think, how sorrowful is sorrow’s life?

I think, falling is instant loss.

You’re always somewhere behind my eyes.

How I wish they were blue like yours.

I look in the mirror to own a piece of you.

My mouth speaks your name and closes.

A Cartographer’s Confusion

The sun at Polaris.

Between the moon and the Pleiades.

Angles our hips destroy, one pressed on the other.

And east of our bed, vased-tulips, a card
with animals on the front that reads:

            Meant for each otter 

How closely I let my lips pull to yours
                                    as you fall asleep at a forty-five
                       arms splayed, and I have you, starfish.

If you’re an intercardinal direction, then
            southwest (SW). I lie
between the letters, the “x” degree, down

                        by your bare feet now, curling the map.

So, the sextant,
                       compass, quadrant. I turn the telescope
                                   on you.

You’re a space observatory.

You’re a weatherman.

You’re a spy.

Alison Palmer is the author of the poetry chapbook, The Need for Hiding (Dancing Girl Press, 2018). To read an in-depth interview with The Poet’s Billow visit www.thepoetsbillow.org. Alison’s work appears in FIELD, Bear Review, River Styx, Glass, Cimarron, Cincinnati Review, LAR and elsewhere. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets, and a finalist for Eyewear Publishing’s Sexton Prize, Alison lives and writes outside Washington, D.C.

Image by Bartolomeo Pareto (1455) – http://www.smoliy.ru/
img/anticuemaps/bartolomeo_pareto_1455.jpeg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58376634


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