Elaine Bleakney

You are three. I am your

endless striped shirt.

Wash, dry, and fold.

At night you need the nightbird.

My hand on your chest.

Story voice: All the beating

thrashing wings will sleep now.

The system sleeps. The people

working and the people

resting, the spinner spinning

gold inside the castle.

The story almost completing itself—

roses twist up a wall.

There will be peace in houses that can afford it.

102 in the city today.

In the mountains, a zendo.

An ammo store opening.

You are twelve. You want

to binge the show but people are

going to die—

characters we love, probably

one of two we love

the most. You warn me.

Elaine Bleakney is the author of For Another Writing Back, an avant-memoir, and 20 Paintings by Laura Owens, an ekphrastic conversation. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina.
Originally published:
October 25, 2023


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