[the scorpion]

by Liz Robbins

sooze, the radio jesus says our salvation must come
without body, i’m not willing to wait and you are,
the sax solo growing buttered layers as it complicates,
this explains all–

you a bee with pollination duty and me tree-sitting
with pretend lynchings–yes, the emotion opus cloud
both blue and violent in squalls, reflections of the lava
cough syrup on which

bobby means got drunk, since ninth grade the heart
batting lashes toward the most potential sting, every-
thing shaken over with black pepper–yes, a woman
must find her beauty

wheresoe’re it lies, despite the old conscriptions, the
dried grape leaves in our beds, we designed to be each
other’s hard reflection, one sister the nightingale’s white
tape, the other bovary’s

tired powders, when the ash and molten fire settle down,
i’ll be handcuffed, you buoyed, but both blinking girlish
dreams, tweaking overgrown thickets, the resurrected
berries laughing


About the Author

Liz Robbins’ second full-length collection, Play Button, won the 2010 Cider Press Review Book Award, judged by Patricia Smith. Her chapbook, Girls Turned Like Dials, won the 2012 YellowJacket Press Prize and will be out in May. She’s an associate professor of creative writing at Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL.