Alison Palmer: Elegy for Someone Still Alive
Photo: Joanna C. Valente

Photo: Joanna C. Valente

Elegy for Someone Still Alive


I’m impatient inside

this buzzard-heavy-love.


Sparrows list as the ground

becomes their sea.


You’ll lose your lungs

            plucked by water-gods.


I’ll shoot holes in the ceiling

            so we can breathe better.


Your voice is unremarkable,

            but you sing, and it’s endearing.


To ache despite the emptiness; okay,

            I never want to be alone.


You move ghostly inside me,

yourself recoiled, percussed.


Tell me we’re supposed to smile

            through our own disintegration.


The afterimages grieve

            always in black and white.


Alison Palmer’s debut chapbook, The Need for Hiding, was released last summer from Dancing Girl Press. An interview with The Poet’s Billow concerning Alison’s chapbook is available by visiting: Her work appears in FIELD, Bear Review, River Styx, Columbia Poetry Review, Glass, Cream City Review, The Los Angeles Review and elsewhere. Alison is the recipient of The Poet’s Billow’s Atlantis Award, and her collection, Aren’t We Lovely in Our Suits of Armor, was a semifinalist for Persea Books: Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize. Alison was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets 2017, and she was a Nimrod Literary Awards: Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry Quarter-Finalist.