Abecedarian with Post-Nap Selfie
A while to rest, and a blind behind which to hunt
belief was all she wanted. Back then, she feared her
cat did not really love her. She feared sleeping each
day away and waking to a new world by
evening. She worried over staling bread and milk
freezing at the back of the fridge, and even
golden light before nightfall, gold’s
hour bearing down, buzzing with gnats ablaze.
It struck her as the end of days, especially with
July bringing, each year, its improbable hail and
kelp boiling in the keep of the deepest ocean.
Little did she know, she knew so little then. In that
modern era of weird, everyone had knots in their
necks and in the hair at their napes. And
of course the world was nervous. Of course
people filled their basements with flour and
quilted toilet paper. Hers wasn’t the only faucet
running rust down through the walls.
So what, she should’ve said, if I dream of
thickets and awake in one, too? It was only so long
until the melt and the plague and the ultra-
violet rays zapped every freckle to a wrinkle. At least she had
windows from which to watch the lady cardinal, its faint
xanadu, its cream, its paprika tuft of breast. Perhaps
you really can rest while catastrophe erects a
zoo out of the whole-wide-world. Perhaps—
Emily Pittinos is a Great Lakes poet and essayist currently teaching in Boise, ID. An Associate Editor for Poetry Northwest, Pittinos has received support from Vermont Studio Center and from Washington University in St. Louis, where she served as the Senior Fellow in Poetry. Her essays have been printed in Ninth Letter and New England Review, and her recent poems appear, or will soon appear, in Denver Quarterly, Michigan Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Quarterly West, The Adroit Journal, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere.
Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky — This book of poetry tells a story of resistance and blurs genre by borrowing from playwriting.
Incarnadine: Poems by Mary Szybist — If you’re interested in reading more abecedarians, check out this collection by Szybist, which bursts with formal innovation.
Slow Lightning by Eduardo C. Corral — This book is always on my list of recommendations, especially for those interested in poetic sequences, ekphrastic writing, and/or bilingual poetry. Corral’s new book, Guillotine, comes out in August and I cannot wait to get my copy!
Wilder by Claire Wahmanholm — If you are seeking a post-apocalyptic reading experience at this moment in history, Wahmanholm is the poet for you. Wilder is a sci-fi-esque collection of poetry that is unlike any I have ever read before.