This is the center of disappear
There are only so many tickets given
in the background, and you slipping past,
collecting nothing, means another type
of looking away. You wear your body
as grief. Sometimes, you sleep too close
to an open window and moths lite
wherever your shoulder touched cotton.
Tell me who names the desert and watches
the Minotaur play with his paper ships
and I will savage the distance between
your weird breathing and my need
to have you, finally, again, inside. This
is never about affection. Ours is a recitation
billowing beyond generosity into artifact.
Kelli Allen’s latest book is Imagine Not Drowning (C&R Press, 2017). Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies in the US and internationally. She is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee and has won awards for her poetry, prose, and scholarly work. She served as Managing Editor of Natural Bridge, is the current Poetry Editor for The Lindenwood Review, and holds an MFA from the University of Missouri St. Louis. She is the director of the River Styx Hungry Young Poets Series and founded the Graduate Writers Reading Series for UMSL. She is currently a Professor of Humanities and Creative Writing at Lindenwood University and teaches for The Pierre Laclede Honors College at UMSL. Her chapbook, Some Animals, won the 2016 Etchings Press Prize. Her full-length poetry collection, Otherwise, Soft White Ash, arrived from John Gosslee Books in 2012 and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Kelli Allen is online at kelli-allen.com.