The Columbia Review Spring 2020

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the columbia review

The Sidewalk Queen Sidney Eberly 2020 Poetr y Priz e Runner-up, selected by Robyn Schiff

A carpet dawn of pink and red poppies clogs the shower drain, the sink. It’s a hazardous everywhere and no means of participation, fire or friendly, the dog asks if I lift my hind leg to piss everything away, will it sound pretty? Why not. A poet told me to never answer a question asked in a poem, but instead I avoid the police. I press flowers into their throwing book and duck. Empty places daydream stick-ups, to turn their pockets out jingling. Hollow is in my very own backyard, and your name. Daphne get out of that tree we’ll go body-shopping. She chooses a back bent from glory, a swan neck that droops ready for some swan gutting. I choose Fancy Jasper for her eyes. He tips his hat at passing women, lecherous agent. Who’s culpable there? Guilty of nothing is a beautiful phrase. I keep one in my cheeks to bite down on and kick it when the night goes into one of its terrible stages.

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