Oh father how you crowd so close
in this cold barn. How you sweat at fences
and your breaking ice for horses.


If there must be a birth, let it be vaporous.
Let these cleanroom walls witness a fog
like that of liquid nitrogen subliming into air.
Let the paintings all be Turners, and the silos
that once rose like Serra slabs in steel, oxidize
into something new but lesser. Let the smoke
lie low. Oh father how you crowd so close
in this cold barn. How you sweat at fences
and your breaking ice for horses. Sit further
off still. Let us spit apart like ions,
like a mixed solution that stews and seethes,
and in the end, settles for nothing.


Laura Allen is a visual artist, writer, and instructor living in Seattle, Washington. Her visual art has been featured in numerous exhibitions, and her poetry and other writing has appeared in regional and national journals such as Tinderbox, S/tick, and Glitterpony. She has worked in diverse literary positions as well, from adjunct creative writing instructor to editor-in-chief of a bimonthly arts magazine. She is currently the host and producer of the “Original Lines” arts podcast, and owner of Two Ponies Press. She lives in West Seattle with her husband Philip and works in her studio in SoDo, Seattle. Find out more at www.laurawaltonallen.com

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