School

By Alison Stine Alison Stine
All winter we sat blind, I next to the girl   
who loved her scabs, the blood shields   
her head gave up, her face a sun of blank   
amazement. She drew. This means love:   
a circle with a line through it. More work:   
a cross. More crosses. Ice sloughed   
through fields. Ice river, the pages   
of our notebooks. Outside: limbs and roads   
and wires. Outside cracked with force   
and turning. Our poems filled with salt.   
He took me to his bed.   
The writer never speaks. The writer speaks   
in details, the sateen lining of my coat,   
the star point of tongue kissing. The winter   
speaks in the whip. Runoff nixed   
with ash. I spilt water on my notebook.   
Words went back to ink; paper back   
to ruffle, pulp. You smell like dog, the girl   
said. You will be left like the winter.   
Little sputter in the car’s craw. Little   
crevice in the pavement. Ice reminder.   
He took me to his bed, saying: Ali,   
Ali, tell no one. I told the girl, a sore   
gathering, another skin to pick and worry.

Source: Poetry (December 2008).

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This poem originally appeared in the December 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

December 2008
 Alison  Stine

Biography

Alison Stine's first book, Ohio Violence, will be published by the University of North Texas Press in February 2009. She is also the author of a chapbook, Lot of my Sister (Kent State University Press, 2001). She lives in New York and Ohio.

Continue reading this biography

Poems by Alison Stine

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Nature, Winter, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

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