I want airplanes if I’m sitting
inside after take-off; only
my number in the dialed
column of your bill. I want to decide
if pancake mix needs eggs and oil
or just water; I still change
filters: coffee, vacuum.

Constellations mark your arms, each
freckle a step forward, an implied connection.
I trace your wrists, drag my fingers
apart to finish Andromeda’s chains.
I want to show you how
she was saved naked, pattern
her vulnerability.

Thud, and a heavy bar turned
locks you inside. The air
stabilized. A smiling woman
asks if she can get you
something to drink. Your words:
No, thank you. I’m fine. Then hers:
honey, swallow those pills.

I’m trying to figure out what here
means, what should
change, what must stay.
Will salt shakers
slow your healing? Their owl
eyes always watching. I switch
trash to Saturday, rearrange furniture.

Between our phone calls
I sleep and you’re with me, measuring
my body in pieces, like a ruler, with your mouth.
You are determined, then frantic &
sweating. You can’t find the answer, you
aren’t right & I can’t help you. Later, I say no
when you ask if I’ve been dreaming.


Abbie Leavens’ works have appeared previously in Gargoyle, The Battered Suitcase, BlazeVOX, and other journals.

Abbie Leavens
Abbie Leavens received her MFA in Poetry from UC-Irvine, and currently teaches composition at UC-Irvine, as well as Long Beach City College. A 2012 Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry and a 2012 Squaw Valley Community of Writers Fellow, her poems have appeared online and in various journals including Barnstorm, BlazeVOX, BLOOM, The Boiler Journal, The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, fortyouncebachelors, REED, Wilde, and Xenith, and are forthcoming in The Squaw Valley Review. Abbie lives on the 5 and the 101, but sometimes gets to visit her home in Los Angeles.