Allison came to us fully formed and ready to share her talent. She has several novels under her belt, including Sweet Thang, Hollywood & Maine, Tutored, and Life is Fine, all available from Random House. Currently, she lives and teaches in Pennsylvania. For Issue #13, she gave us these powerful poems, which we are very happy to share with you today as part of our ongoing Look Back series.
Wait for Rain
They’d have to save all the whales before they get to prisoner’s rights. Still, to protect the unborn I’m cuffed in front transported on a state bus.
Will the maternity ward be pastel blue or pastel pink? It’s institutional white. I’m no angel. They are no monsters. They speak in a hush.
Going under, reminds me of the high life. Like a slap, his cry kills my buzz. We bond for two years, then he’s off to his sentence.
The name I gave him won’t stay.
He won’t remember my scent.
He doesn’t have my eyes.
But maybe one day if he’s not shipped too far on a side street glazed with rain. I’ll pass a stranger who won’t be.
The Black Writer
cold black words
corrupt the pale
virginity of paper
dark transforms it from
Eden, with tiny letters
that mean something,
with quick hands, you
peck the nothingness
because you are inclined to tell
the world what's on your mind
ruining the blank chastity of
Imagine your finance's hand up my thigh,
Him telling me I looked like a Black Julia Roberts
So innocent, so hot
Something about my narrow face
My steel belted radial lips...
I liked it
This being fed.
Enormous is my head
that your boyfriend's grossly blatant come ons
Hit me with fuzzy caterpillar harmlessness,
Of course, I know this ruins the echelon of things
I interfere with your zip?locked dreams of marriage
A house in Linden Hills
He said we were the same:
Skinny and grinny
Till then I had no idea that Hollywood's
Highest paid actress
Looked like a white version of me.
Because I believe in perfection
I believe in abortion
Babies are asymmetrical
The silken grammar of routine
But, a fetus can be edited
Its absence assures a lacy indefectibility
In the vacuum, I can breathe
It’s not right
It’s not the right time
I don’t want to hunker down in Staten Island
Or be on bed rest
Or buy big clothes
Or rush to alter with a gown and a groom and a promise
With rice raining on me
I don’t want to be folk like my mother was folk.
Children growing out of her hairdo.
Dull eyes and unpainted nails.
Waking on the hour to feed. Feeding. Always feeding the hungry.
Little ones pursuing happiness.
Little ones rob happiness.
Fuzzy fussy responsibilities piling like landfills
On and on and on, like a heartbeat.