I recall my mother in her forties
saying how great the teen years,
firsts in everything: kiss, beer,
car, sex. Don’t hurry, she said.
Now I stand where she once
did, searching for the path back
to the dark house littered with
crushed cans, pop music. Black
sky, smell of brine coming off
the marsh. Heat of promise
smoldering the belly. I’ve grown
so good at adulthood, I’ve nothing
to confess. Help me find trouble
again, so that I may recover
from it. Where else the engine
to drive the days left? Here are
my lips, the same that drew on
cigarettes, cajoled young men
to trees. My dreaming heart
in ash, the goad to keep redoing.
Hollow me, life, with your
LIZ ROBBINS’ third collection, Freaked, won the 2014 Elixir Press Annual Poetry Award; her second collection, Play Button, won the 2010 Cider Press Review Book Award. In 2015 she won the Crab Orchard Review Special Issue Feature Award in Poetry and in 2016 was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by Fugue. Her poems have appeared in Adroit Journal, Beloit Poetry Journal, BOAAT, Denver Quarterly, Kenyon Review Online, and Rattle, as well as on The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. She’s an associate professor of creative writing at Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL.