We Come in Anyway
I want to call you close to the window wood to listen when the moth settles his antenna, alien fuzz and vertices, against just fogged glass.
When the father asks if they want to die alone, or be finished now, and quick, the men respond, each in turn, in their long white rows, with a mouth nicotine stained, then a head turned, slow to the right or to the left—whichever way they remember a window might face, though there are no breezes and no songs here. We live every day
with a child we do not know. Sometimes it is difficult to understand who is saving whom. The symptom is sleep. Is it better to stay tucked into the blanket we drape over the bed? Is it better to let the throat swell?
We hear sparrows in both winter and almost-spring. Why, then, do we close the door every time a wing peeks past our thresholds? You are the albino moose who thinks about eating branches already on the ground. Tell me what it means to begin
with anything, not knowing where it’s going to go.
Kelli Allen’s latest book is Imagine Not Drowning (C&R Press, 2017). Allen’s work has appeared in numerous journals in the US and internationally. Her chapbook, Some Animals, won the 2016 Etchings Press Prize. Her chapbook, How We Disappear, won the 2016 Damfino Press award. Her collection, Otherwise, Soft White Ash, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.
To learn more, visit http://www.crpress.org/shop/imagine-not-drowning/