Chute by Alicia Jo Rabins


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 Brooklyn-based poet, performer and composer who received her MFA from Warren Wilson. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, 6 x 6, Boston Review, Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn (NYU Press) and Horse Poems (Knopf). As a musician she tours internationally; her original art-pop song cycle about Biblical women, Girls in Trouble, was released in October 2009 and she is the violinist in Golem, NYC’s punk-klezmer band.  She also holds a Masters in Jewish Women’s Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary and tutors bar and bat mitzvah students online.