Six poems by Allison Leigh

Something Nathan said that made me wonder where you went

“Sometimes I fall in love with the wrong furniture.”
Ottomans instead of nightstands, I’m guessing, lamps instead
of chests of drawers. Upholstered loveseats versus
built-in bookshelves — spiral stairwells — the act versus
the shun. I cringe at writing silence — but mornings break, fog
wisps through summer streets, and I am alone
on a porch in a wicker chair. Night is calling
me and it’s not even sunset yet. We both hold a lot of screaming in
our shut mouths, raw around the lips from every night before.
Raspy voices are like soul scars, I told you before you
drove off into the dead light. The body is an afternoon
without plans, this air an electric current, the outdoor sconce
above your address a percolator for dirty magic between springs
on a mattress, between our bodies and the constellations,
which, I read, were once our bodies, too. It’s why, even if
there is nothing else to do, we ought to at least sit together.


Your Beautiful

beautiful hair
in knots. Your gold silk
in your eyes. Your kick
in your step. Unwrap
the songbirds
from their plastic
blankets. Feed the shaken.
We are all counting
to ten. Your kick
in your kick, your hair
in knots, your drunk
in your body. We hold
overwhelming apologies,
untold, in our chests.


West Elevator, 3rd Floor

I open the window
not to escape here
but to let in the weather

be closer
to the unconditioned air
the wild, wild earth

sometimes there is pretty
space I want to explore
out through a window
in a photograph
some beautiful portrait
a satellite took

and I don’t live with this
view, this notion that we are precious

I want to pound against the frame
of whatever keeps me in, keeps me away, and say,
You know mountains? They are for
climbing and witnessing
for the first time
the soul of the sky you stand on.


I’ll Remember August

The dog Schafer says to
put it to sleep. Let it down easy,
he says. There is no thicker love
than to suffer. Schafer says

the gray is getting thin. We aren’t
losing track of its bones
these days. We consult Schafer
as to what can be done; he suggests

we let it go. Sooner or later, we will shake
it off, understand we never would’ve
held it so close if it weren’t for that one
time. I nod, and then you nod. I’ll remember

August, I say, not looking at you
or at Schafer, how embarrassingly the heat
suffocated a home of us, how happy we were
that it melted our hair and insides.


The Game

You & me, we’re wired
to want to play the game.
We desire the notion
for which it stands.
You & me get dealt hands
which are real hands.
Once we’re in, we’re told:
now you are here, so play.
So we play & we play
& we play the game.
Sometimes we get so sleepy
playing, but we promised
we would play. We play.
We play & play & play.
Yes, we survive.
We live; that is the game.
We cross our hearts
& promise to love
because that is the only
way to live. I am living
the life of a lover.
I play the game.
You play the game.
Sometimes it appears
we are winning.
We have never not
played this game before
& we promise to never
not play again.


On a Monday

A man will adore all weather. Weather will give
a man everything it has. It will kneel; it will
rupture; it will soothe and shake. Weather will let it
go. Sometimes, weather puts its hand over its face.
A man thinks weather is hiding, but no:
weather is the hiding place. No woman will give
a man every piece of herself so fully
as the weather. I want to
wrap the wind in my arms, tell the Earth:
Darling, don’t worry. It will get better. I want to
braid the leaves of the trees,
make a nest for me there.
I tell the weather, I love every piece of you,
even the storms. Weather says, Admittedly,
I am touched that you haven’t yet built a dome.

More poetry at Used Furniture.


  1. I’m thrilled that I found this site, and these strong, perceptive poems.

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