In college he took me up to see it.
I peered inside the shiny disc; it gave no clue.

No ceremony but notice to vacate.
The lab transported nine years ago
in a moving van whose freezer gave out en route.
How do you give up a life?

Seventeen years. If I burn a pinch of sage, strike the bowl,
what rises?


Bowlegged fantasies within my little finger’s grasp.
Stealthily I stroke the springbacked bone
filled with such potential.
When I stand them back to back
they look like gunslingers.
The only way they can get out of this
is to walk backward away from each other,
turn and shoot, making someone’s day.
Or placed the other way, they could be
loving, leg across leg.

Woman in the Leaves

In summer she burned–
pink tips of crape myrtle
at the bottom of the garden
through morning mist.

The first cool nights
she sings the leaves loose,
that float onto her hair
lodge in corners of her mouth.

She lies,
hips settling into moss.
Leaves blow and gather
in the crevices of her body.

Woman in the leaves,
the drop-dead leaves.

Bio: Alison Hicks is the author of Kiss, a collection of poems, Falling Dreams, a chapbook, Love: A Story of Images, a novella, and the co-editor of an anthology, Prompted. She has twice received fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; her work has appeared in Eclipse, Gargoyle, Quiddity, Whiskey Island, Pearl, and other journals. She leads community-based writing workshops under the name Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio (www.philawordshop.com).