Back to Issue Five.




For milk and the morning paper, I walk
down this crooked arm of road
around the woods. Sky twists

like wet smoke in the branches’ gaps.
Last year’s leaves steep in snow;
tree-trunks shiver and chap. These stretching,

seasonless curves, the tease of softening
air might take us in, our skin
forget to bristle; sandy, squinting

eyes can blur the shades like reams
of filled-in time-sheets, late-night talks
that stain and seep into dreams: browns

and whites and duns, then darker browns.
Color is in the News, where blue
and green define the patchy heat

of a human brain-map: memory loss
begins with sex, the scientists say.
I read the full story at home,

my thumbprints smudging grey. The steam’s
plume climbs. I pour the tea.
It’s time to wake you, start the day.

Siobhan Phillips is an assistant professor at Dickinson College and the author of The Poetics of the Everyday: Creative Repetition in Modern American Verse (Columbia University Press). Her poems and essays have appeared in The Southwest Review, The Yale Review, The Hudson Review, Literary Imagination, and other journals.