By Leigh Stein b. 1984 Leigh Stein
Mother, I have been devastated all my life. I never said anything. 
That’s why I wear a parachute. Why I tiptoed from my bedroom
to yours, and lay my head on the beige carpet for fear of worse.
Were there sirens? There were. Were there familiar songs? Yes.
I am afraid of the beds I have been in. In the morning there was
the heel of your boot sharper than before. Mother, what do I do
with your mail? Do you want to keep this snake in the basement?
What about the kitten? Do you want all these photographs of other
people’s children? The temperature in the lizard’s cage is dropping.
Let’s be realistic. If I open the windows the birds will come in and
eat out the eyes. Mother, I am bereft. Mother, I wear your necklace
and nothing else. Mother, I never. Nevermind. Let’s be fatalistic.
The neighbors know I’m down here. I can hear them watching.
Mother, after they take your eyes I will sew the lids myself.

Leigh Stein, “Marooned” from Dispatch from the Future. Copyright © 2012 by Leigh Stein. Reprinted by permission of Melville House.

Source: Dispatch from the Future (Melville House, 2012)

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Poet Leigh Stein b. 1984

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Living, Life Choices, Relationships, Family & Ancestors

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Leigh  Stein


Originally from Chicago, poet Leigh Stein dropped out of high school before taking courses at a community college. She also studied at Brooklyn College and in the acting program at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. She is the author of the novel The Fallback Plan (2012) and the poetry collection Dispatch from the Future (2012).
Stein’s poems submerge stark emotional reflection within landscapes . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, Relationships, Family & Ancestors

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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