Three Poems by Alison Lubar

Domestic Sapphic Diptych

          I.           Even when it’s a risk to hold hands at the grocery store,

the kid next door calls, “Miss!”
and peeks over curled-iron railing
at brown-paper rustle, keychain
jostle. My arm locked in hers, we
ask about baseball and what colors
he saw today. Then, it hits: here,
we’re just another couple next door.

          II.           Her Remedy

Kitchen floors are best for messes, tears:
nothing stains, no porous surface. These
two limestone tiles by the heating vent
are the best seat for shaken bones; white
plywood cabinet faces pacify choking
hiccups. She lifts the self I’ve spilled like
a thick quilted paper towel. The good kind.


A Good Mix
Suburban PA, 2001

My mother confesses, “Granny says white babies
are like kittens.” I match my parents, at least, for
being so mixed. In AP Biology, the Punnet squares
show I am lucky to be heterozygous for blue eyes.
I am “a good mix,” that blends in enough. I can stay
out of the sun. In Rome, they ask me for directions.
The family curse lives under a wolf, there. Grand-
daughter of the oldest brother. I must be blessed
to live un-usurped except for what might have been.
At sixteen, I read The Bluest Eye and dream of what
I would fix first. That year, we get two kittens from
the store in the mall. I always begged for a puppy
instead. They are from the same litter, but only share
the Platonic Ideal of Cat. The orange one loves me
but the tabby pisses on my bed. It doesn’t matter
who you’re related to, as long as you are lovable.


[Quapa] Imposter Syndrome
Cherry Hill NJ, 2014

When they [only]
          bring me
a fork at Ichiban,
          I feel home
leaving my body.


Alison Lubar teaches high school English by day and yoga by night. They are a queer, nonbinary, mixed-race femme whose life work (aside from wordsmithing) has evolved into bringing mindfulness practices, and sometimes even poetry, to young people. Their debut chapbook, Philosophers Know Nothing About Love, is out now with Thirty West (May 2022); their second, sweet euphemism, is forthcoming with CLASH!, an imprint of Mouthfeel Press, in 2023. You can find out more at or on Twitter @theoriginalison.

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