The Name in the Doorway
My daughter waits in the doorway. She mouths Mom silently. My name floats from her mouth, hovers wordless above my body in bed. A blue and humming three-winged bird, my name waits and waits, lands softly on my mouth to wake my body from sleep, soft as the start of a pistol, soft as a lurching coaster, soft as a table leg in the night. My daughter is gone. Only the blurred and glowing outline of her body fills the frame. Maybe the stomach ached. Maybe the spider shadow crept. Maybe the water empty. Maybe she never left her bed. Maybe only my name left her pillow, flew across the house, dropped on top of me in sleep. The name returns every night, every night to kiss my mouth, every night to steal my sleep and breath.
Allison Blevins is the author of the chapbooks Susurration, Letters to Joan, and A Season for Speaking. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Harbor Review and the Poetry Editorial Assistant at Literary Mama. She lives in Missouri with her wife and three children. http://www.allisonblevins.com.