Winter 2010

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Winter/Spring 2008

Editor's Note




by Lyn Lifshin

things I have and
don’t have
come from this
moving between
people like
smoke. I’ve been
waiting the way
milkweed I
brought inside two
years ago stays
suspended, hair in the
wind it seems to
float, even its
black seeds don’t
pull it down
tho you don’t under
stand how any
thing could stay
that way
so long

Why Areograms Are Always Blue
Because of the distance to you.
Because the wind fades,
dries out the verbs
until the background they’ve
leaned against blends
with the sky.
The blue reflects your eyes.
No, that’s a lie, I don’t
remember them, only the
feeling in my hands, some
thing longing, aching the
blue in my veins a fast
blue burning barriers

Not Quite Spring
Baby, you know I get high
on you, come back with me
whispering in her ear.
It was all she could do to say
no, spring leaves budding,
his hand on her breast,
crocus smell and
everything unfolding.
She gasping I want, I
would but instead hurrying
back to the windowless room
where she locks the heavy door.
Lemons are rotting on her pillow,
she studies her nipples,
nyloned crotch in mirror
then hugs her huge body to sleep

Cat Callahan
being fat until
that spring, I still
felt fat on Main St
in my town but
not when the science
fair went north,
Burlington for 3 days,
I met the kind of
long haired boy I
hadn’t. The photograph
with my eyes huge,
how the cop downstairs
groaned when he screamed
in with that Ford.
Relatives squirmed at
his name. By June I
unbuttoned my sweater,
wriggling in a back
seat near Champlain
Al Martino’s Oh My Love
I’ve hungered for so,
the pink check dress
wrinkling a long time
as things inside
unchained were saying
yes, yes tho I didn’t

Fitzi in the Yearbook
grin muffled but
sneaky, slithering
out like his penis
did in the Drive In
a June before I could
imagine anything so
slippery sliding up,
let alone inside
me after months of
Saturdays in my
mother’s grey apartment,
my sister giggling
behind the couch,
a tongue pressing
between lips should
have been a warning in
the blue Chevy I felt
he was all whale
crashing with his
now you’ve done
this to me, you have
to, everything in
me sand he
collapsed on

In Spite of His Dangling Pronoun
He was really her favorite
student, dark and just
back from the army with
hot olive eyes, telling her of
bars and the first
time he got a piece of
ass in Greece or was it
Italy and drunk on some strange
wine and she thought
in spite of his dangling
pronoun (being twenty four and
never screwed but in her
soft nougat thighs) that he
would be a
lovely experience.
So she shaved her legs up high
and when he came
talking of foot notes she
locked him tight in her
snug black file cabinet where
she fed him twice a day and
hardly anyone noticed
how they lived among bluebooks
in the windowless office
rarely coming up for sun or the
change in his pronoun. Or the
rusty creaking chair
or that many years later
they were still going to town in
novels she never had time to finish

Eating the Rain Up
    grey Tuesday
rain all night
You said do you
           want to go
                   for cigarettes
                         do you want to
          I’ve got a
  got a room we
I’ve got something I want
          at least
we could
                       tell me your name
Books fell across the bed
Your mustache
                         was the kind, I
           wrapped your mouth
    into me
                yes I knew
          your thighs would be
    friendly, your
hair closing
               small hands a pillow
                       and the
              wetness we grasped,
       that warm together
                     ate the rain up

Lemon Sun, Satuday
wind chimes
Jenny’s slightly sour
the few white hairs on
your chest
I’m sorry I couldn’t
and swing, but my eyes
    were burning
lying now, this mattress
in your old friends’ house
lemon sun, Billy’s

Tennesse Blues

thru the shade. He’s been
playing since midnight
Jenny standing in the
door, parting the
curtains slowly

Light from This Turning
I have lost touch with
distant trees,
the wind you brought
in your hair
and lilac hills.
Something different
bites into the river
and the river of lost days
floats over my tongue.
Love, you are like that
distant water, pulling
and twisting,
you turn me
apart from myself
like some frightening road,
something I don’t want
to know
Still, let my
hair float slow through
this new color,
let my eyes absorb
all light
from this turning
that has brought us
here, has carried us
to where we are,
we are

On Another Coast 
could it have
been because of
rain that we fell
together so
easily that first time
rain keeping the
others near the
fire  your hair was
blacker than the melon
seeds under the straw the towels
smelling of sweet trees  our
bodies lifted to each other in the
rain cottage the
wet leaves pulling us
close and down

All Afternoon We
read Lorca
by five snow
blurred the
glass. February. I
leaned against
those chill panes.
burned through the
snow with apples
You in the
other room
I was thinking
don’t let
this be some
warmth I can
move near
and never know

Lemon Wind
all day
nobody wanted
to talk
the sleeping bags
were still wet
from the storm
in Cholla Vista
Nothing went right.
But later the
wood we
burned had a sweet
unfamiliar smell
and all night
we could taste
lemons in the wind

Copyright 2010, Lyn Lifshin. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.

Lyn Lifshin has published more than 120 books of poetry, including Marilyn Monroe, Blue Tattoo, has won awards for her non-fiction, and has edited four anthologies of women's writing. Her chapbooks include NOVEMBERLY from ETC Press, When a Cat Dies and Another Woman's Story, Barbie Poems, She was Last Seen Treading Water, what Matters Most, August Wind from Portrait Press and In the Darkness of Night from Concrete Meat Press. Her most recent books include Barbaro: Beyond Brokeness from Texas Review Press, Persephone from Red Hen, Mad Girl and Tsunami. . New World Press published Desire and will publish All the Poets (Mostly) Who Have Touched Me, Living and Dead. Katarina is forthcoming as well as a new selected and collected and she is working on other manuscripts. Her web site is www.lynlifshin.com.