Allan Peterson


One does not tell the future it tells us
when it gets here
People call and though I say wrong number
they call back
Last night I saw trampled grass where a deer
or refrigerator slept
and with light through lace like moon through leaves
during an eclipse  
the whole room rested many times on your shoulder
It was like sitting on my leg
then rising up and feeling the stars pass through
each blood cell
You turned and glittered minutely like a mirror ball
like a lens to pleasure
But I have awakened after working all night somewhere else
just to take aspirin for sore shoulders
and thought maybe someone lives here with my name
or the lines in my hands are maps
to my aching other life folded in a fist
since even the moon sometimes keeps its one eye closed
above the whole population


Horse loyal as a dog, 
a parrot that surprisingly flies to you.
Then the grey cat going by,
oblivious to dependence
or any appreciation
of the backup sky's ability to tell us
if we're having tragedy 
or beauty,
whether bones dressed as Jody or Marilyn
have turned soft or sour,
whether this year the flickers
will escape the owl.
Something so small is often
beyond the scope of the question
which was originally 
will the world acknowledge us at all.

Allan Peterson is the author of two books: All the Lavish in Common (2005 Juniper Prize) and Anonymous Or (Defined Providence Press Prize ) and four chapbooks. Recent print and online appearances include Bat City, Salamander, Iron Horse, Segue, Caesura, Laurel Review, The Pedestal, Runes.  He has work forthcoming in Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, Swink, Compass Rose, Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry. See his Poetry/Art featured at



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