The Sound of Begging           by Allison Blevins

In the begging—flounder
and drowning, primordial,
liquidblack, an ocean wail—

I wanted the body saved.
You can imagine
how lovers must feel to live—
not alone but distanced—

just out of reach
from every breath and growl.

In the begging,
nothing human.
Human was love once

without flesh
or fire. You can imagine
the begging as smoke,

as a sticky fog
that lingers on the tongue,
breath exhaled
from a full flesh mouth.

Allison Blevins is the author of the chapbooks Susurration (Blue Lyra Press, 2019), Letters to Joan (Lithic Press, 2019), and A Season for Speaking (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019). Her books Slowly/Suddenly (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2021) and Cataloging Pain (YesYes Books, 2023) are forthcoming. Chorus for the Kill (Seven Kitchens Press 2021), her collaborative chapbook, is forthcoming. She is the Director of Small Harbor Publishing and a Poetry Editor at Literary Mama. She lives in Missouri with her spouse and three children where she co-organizes the Downtown Poetry reading series.

About the Guest Editor: Dennis Etzel Jr. (he/him) lives with his spouse Carrie and their five boys in Topeka, Kansas where he teaches English at Washburn University. He has numerous books, including My Secret Wars of 1984 (BlazeVOX 2015) which was selected by The Kansas City Star as a Best Poetry Book of 2015. His work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, FUGUE, Puerto del Sol, 1913: a journal of poetic forms, Tarpaulin Sky, DIAGRAM, and others.

One thought on “The Sound of Begging           by Allison Blevins

  1. I enjoyed Allison’s poem. Do you accept poems from people not part of the Collective?

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