Laura M. Dixon


The night before I left for Spain
we had sex on every surface
in the house: the bed, the sofa,
kitchen and bathroom counters,
two chairs, a windowsill,
guest bed and closet floor.
We moved in yesterday and already
I was leaving.  Four weeks:
hardly long enough to break
in shoes, but our eyes could change,
our lips might line up differently.

In Spain I learned that morphemes
are the smallest meaningful part
of any word, blocks inside of bigger blocks,
so love and lover and lovely
are not the same.  It's why our nephew drinked
his milk and eated his peas.  Why I
held you so long in wonderment.

My professor was jailed
for speaking gallego,
seven years of slotted sunlight
for being understood.  He said:
Forget about a narrative;
everything's as fractured
as goddamn Cubist art.

In the airport you pressed
your invisible crescent whorls
around my own, a ball of coursing heat
and certainty.  You held me
until hands were hands,
the Mezquita's endless arches
converging seamlessly.


The copper pail grinds, doleful
across gravel and mud.  She can
hardly lift it, baby fingers wrapped
around the handle.  She climbs
the terraces with cooked potatoes
for her brothers, who work there
to grow the new ones.  She ascends
head down, like a goat, no sighs.
Her oldest brother follows
with his eyes and nods
as she sets the pail at his feet.  And
then she flies away, which
is strange for a girl.

Laura M. Dixon holds a B.A. in literature from The University of Chicago and an M.A.T. from Dominican University. She has worn many hats, from teacher and coach to circus performer. She is currently a Michener Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin, working toward her M.F.A. in poetry with a secondary concentration in fiction. This is her first publication.

"When I was about ten, I was sitting on our front porch swing (which used to be my grandmother's) when a bright blue parakeet landed on the railing next to me. I stuck out my index finger, and it hopped right on. I opened the front door and shouted something like, 'Mommy! We have a parakeet!' My mom got a birdcage down from the attic, and we had a pet parakeet for years."


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