Annik Adey-Babinski


Never into a house that isn’t my own
Never in a far blue swamp
Never past the pink concrete altar where roasted the Christmas pig
Never under a hush, slipping off my shoes, letting you check the door first
Never with people practicing dreams upstairs
There was a slight tree in the yard lit with sleeping birds
Whispering you owned nothing
O stricken crossing of the bed O blue herons
Still on the asphalt there are small fires burning
We can see their fervor in the winter cattails
The canals are low tonight
On the grass beside the house we watched the stars
Blazing mouthful of minor constellations
Breathing in dusty swamp gas
Still and greasy as two gators
Not that it was empty or cold
Not that we found our heady air elsewhere
Not that I was square
But that wilderness vibrated higher and louder than we knew
It shook us and sent us shivering apart
I understood the feeling just miles later
Avoiding U-turns on drained land
Driving lost on turnpike mazes
Too close to the wild, that was what it was

ANNIK ADEY-BABINSKI works as an assistant editor at the American Welding Society’s Welding Journal in Miami, Fl. Her poems have appeared in Best New Poets 2014, Sink Review, Transom, Hobart, and elsewhere.


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