Before the book, the coffee,
the hour of clouds
and a bed unmade,

a panther takes her place
before the mirror,
black, glistening, dangerous.

She wants to be
that kind of wanted,
that kind of holy, muscled,

without past. The chair
where she faced last year’s
weather seems suddenly

too small for her, suddenly
too comfortable.
It was meant for the stories

of others, not her own.
So she leaves to build
her thighs to greater

dimension, her arms more
than for the cradling
of a novel, a baby, a man

who’ll ask eventually
for pudding, soup, compassion,
a place to cry. She leaves

to return as another,
and to wait for dawn
as if there were bamboo.


Photography © Alisha M. White


Carl Boon lives and works in Izmir, Turkey. His poems appear in dozens of magazines, most recently Two Peach, Jet Fuel Review, Blast Furnace, and Poetry Quarterly.

Alisha M. White, Ph.D. is an a/r/tist, teacher educator, and assistant professor at Western Illinois University. Her work revolves around disrupting constructions of ability, integrating arts into her research, and teaching future teachers the potential for using the arts in teaching English language arts.