Mary Biddinger


Wasps rustle beneath siding. A scarf tumbles to the floor.
Neither sound will wake the dead. A dash of jam

on the scarf's edge. The wasps on their last tour before
winter. But aren't we all? There's something about a shiver

that can only be described as restorative. Wet din
of a previous apartment. At a certain hour, a fleet of school

buses would pass by like derelict freight cars. I will confess
that sometimes they kept one day from becoming

the next, in the same way I prevented myself from turning into
a subsequent version of myself. But then there was no

choice left. In the horror movie filmed in a duplicate
of my former apartment, the kitchen floor opened up. People

screamed and left. Things billowed around as usual
in the city: trousers owned by a vanished pensioner, brooches

seething in the gutter. I wanted to be the kind of woman who
had time to sit down for tea. The type to take up

a painting class, an appropriate lover who never slept
with a replica of the Titanic in his bed, or its living equivalent.

In the horror movie, the real scare was when
the protagonist realized it would not last nearly long enough.

Mary Biddinger's most recent poetry collection is A Sunny Place with Adequate Water (Black Lawrence Press, 2014). Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Green Mountains Review, jubilat, The Laurel Review, and Pleiades, among others. She teaches poetry writing and literature at the University of Akron, and edits Barn Owl Review and the Akron Series in Poetry. Biddinger is the recipient of a 2015 NEA creative writing fellowship in poetry.

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