Two Poems by Allison Blevins & Joshua Davis

My Mother’s Unfinished Canvases: A Triptych

An octopus cradles: paperclips, a peasant blouse,
one Tarot card, three Camel Lights, a shattered flute,
lavender lotion, black nail polish, a goldfish
in its plastic balloon. The goldfish is unsurprised.

The elder of the two
lacks a face. She tests
her wingspan. The tree,
if it is a tree, recedes into
droplets of smolder.

A blue dot surrounded by cream
and emptiness. Blue waits for a dark-haired child, waits
for morning like a telegram—dashes and dots
carried in a leather and horsehair handbag.


We Send Elizabeth Bishop a Mermaid Postcard

Dear Elizabeth, we’re all children
of yours, we girlboys and boygirls.
Object if you like. Pour us another.

Someone has taken a razor
to the shadows of hedgerows.
Sandhill cranes cry out to each other
across parking lots, mournful,
prehistoric and absurd.

Elizabeth, we coil our voices
tighter than Victorian hair ornaments
to ask you:

If I hadn’t burned my father’s irreplaceable body,
would you have helped us hurl his corpse
over the White House lawn?


Allison Blevins is a queer disabled writer. She is the author of the collections Handbook for the Newly Disabled, A Lyric Memoir (BlazeVox, 2022) and Slowly/Suddenly (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2021). Cataloguing Pain (YesYes Books, 2022), a finalist for the Pamet River Prize, is forthcoming. She is also the author of the chapbooks Chorus for the Kill (Seven Kitchens Press, 2022), Susurration (Blue Lyra Press, 2019), Letters to Joan (Lithic Press, 2019), and A Season for Speaking (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019), part of the Robin Becker Series. Allison is the Founder and Director of Small Harbor Publishing and the Executive Editor at the museum of americana. She lives in Missouri with her partner and three children where she co-organizes the Downtown Poetry reading series. For more information visit

Joshua Davis holds an MFA from the University of Mississippi and an MFA from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. He is the author of Chorus for the Kill (Seven Kitchens Press, 2022). Recent poems have appeared in The Poetry Distillery, the museum of americana, and The Midwest Quarterly. He is a doctoral candidate in American Literature at Ohio University.

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