For Southeast Philly

The fragile bones.

The highway snaking

through the maze of rigs.


towers rising

and belching invisible

stink into your ovaries

ripe with coming

sickness and perhaps

forbidden        or forgotten

desire. The pinched lips.

The dusky pink

carpet stretched out behind glass latched doors.

The elevator narrow

and smoky and closing and rising and releasing

us to more dusky pink,

more stretches of beige to your tall beige door.


glass cabinets filled

with plates, tea cups, silver

spoons, leprechauns, Matryoshka

dolls, sheltered from the dust of

what? Of concrete

lots stretching to the edge of the Delaware?

The unspoken legacy of unspoken things,

sifted.             The not speaking.

The ladyfingers spongy

under the roofs of our mouths.

Our mouths too full

of sweet things

to ask questions. Still.

Amy Elizabeth Robinson is a poet, historian, and many other things living in the hills of Sonoma County, California. She grew up in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, spent summer vacations in Cape May and Cape May Point, and also went to college in New Jersey. She holds degrees in history from Princeton, University College London, and Stanford, and studies Zen and creativity with the Pacific Zen Institute. She is a Contributing Editor of PZI’s online magazine of Zen and the arts, Uncertainty Club, and her work has also appeared in Deluge, Literary Mama, West Trestle Review, DASH, Vine Leaves, and as part of Rattle’s innovative Poets Respond program.