A poem by Alicia Jo Rabins

We are very excited to present work from our readers at the upcoming Augury Books & Friends offsite AWP reading/shindig in Seattle. The reading will be at Noble Neon, 3130 Airport Way S on Friday, February 28th from 7:30 until we all feel like going back to our hotels. If you’ll be in Seattle, please join us!

Photo by Dave Bledsoe, FreeVerse Photography


Each time a baby is born
the universe squeezes itself
through a chute,
the same chute
into which
suicides squeeze themselves.
Its mouth
is lined with small iron teeth.
When you bathe your father
who has become like a child,
you feel the teeth
on your fingers.
When your father asks
who you are,
it means his legs have been
sucked in.
For you the tunnel’s
mouth is closed;
for him it is open
and oiled.

Alicia Jo Rabins is a poet and musician currently based in Portland, OR. Her work appears in American Poetry Review, 6×6, Boston Review, Court Green, Ploughshares and The Collagist. She tours internationally with her band, Girls in Trouble, a song cycle about the complicated lives of Biblical women, and has performed fiddle music across Central America and Kuwait. Residencies and scholarships include Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets.