For Her Art by A.J. Odasso from Issue #18

For Her Art

Pale girl, willow-slim, sits on a plinth
in the square—sketches the spire opposite, caught

by the rain unaware. And ever since,
I wonder at her face gone still, upturned

to the clouds and the strain, her eyes closed
in serene defiance. In her stead,

I could hardly have done the same, and yet
I yearn to turn back to the time, the place

of this simple belonging. Then, I’d leave
my seat at the table, my hard-won meal

half eaten, fly to her side in the storm,
to ask how she is doing and where I

have gone wrong. Her dress red, her hair golden—
soaked, wind-whipped, and long.


A. J. Odasso’s poetry has appeared in a variety of publications, including Sybil’s Garage, Mythic Delirium, Midnight Echo, Not One of Us, Dreams & Nightmares, Goblin Fruit, Strange Horizons, Stone Telling, Farrago’s Wainscot, Liminality, Battersea Review, Barking Sycamores, and New England Review of Books. A.J.’s debut collection, Lost Books (Flipped Eye Publishing), was nominated for the 2010 London New Poetry Award and was also a finalist for the 2010–11 People’s Book Prize. Her second collection with Flipped Eye, The Dishonesty of Dreams, was released in 2014; her third collection, Things Being What They Are, was shortlisted for the 2017 Sexton Prize. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Boston University, and works in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico. A.J. has served in the Poetry Department at Strange Horizons since 2012. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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