for all the girls the sun has risen for

after L
i could barely
pour the morning
orange juice, or spell
my middle name but 
with you, i knew 
i wanted to be
both the snow 
angel and your 
glittering imprint

after N
you wore a shirt 
from the Dalí museum one 
thousand miles away, across 
the row in honors 
chemistry, i said 
“i’ve been there,”
meant to say, “i can’t 
wear yellow,
but you could 
mute the sun”

after A
in the sober 
i made you
eggs and steak
from provisions
my parents left
for me “and
a friend”

with E
prayer for apricity:
every day is sun-
day, and we share 
the same patch 
of dawn for-


She pulls the nectar out of my skin, 
fascia twists into gilded crinkles--
she folds me gently back into myself,
as wax paper wrapping a sacred text.
Each fingernail perforates
a sieve to strain the gold from my bones,
tendrils of veins spiral, root beneath her feet
to grow into ivy that chokes our house.
“I like the ivy,” but I know it clings to the brick
and little tokens of mortar are crumbs for its hungry mouth.
“I know it’s bad but it’s beautiful.” She notes 
a known quantity, slow implosion, 
inevitable as entropy.

I can predict my own death:

a spiderless web of vegetation growing through me
and for the first time in its own sacred genealogy,
the fruitless vines will bloom into a multitude of flowers,
a tomb of petals.
Ghazal for the Rose of Mayfair

Before the haze of the Pen&Pencil you rose,
alight in black satin, curved blush-hue rose.

By any other name, two bullets for each letter,
the bard would recognize you, Montague rose.

Spectre, eccola bella! at the corner of Fifteenth
and Spruce, eternal sunshine Nosferatu rose.

From the terracotta bannister of your new stoop,
greening the backyard– the smoke, a corkscrew rose.

And Sundays, we drink chilled pink in honeyed cells
of that streetside cafe. Teacup orange, deja vu rose.

Since you were six, we filter the world for you through
twenty-twenty crystal, color the point of view rose.

Dark party bars, from the concrete purgatory of verse–
oh B.B.! In all this Eden, you are the only true rose!

Post-Prandial Love Poem for a New Home

“Places, everyone!” is the call after dinner. We sink 
into respective corners of the double-chaise puzzle-

pieced together. IKEA didn’t intend for this style 
of assembly, but what else do you need with two 

humans and two dogs? The thick cotton cushions 
with woodblocked hills in shades of green, outdoor 

pillows and their undulant polyester waves, a black 
velvet bolster on sale after Halloween with an orange 
forked tongue emerging from an embroidered serpent. 

They’re in their corner: needy russet mutt who I love 
almost as much as my fair lover. I have to airlift my own 

small orange dog from her nautilus. This new couch has 
no room for her to hide underneath. And now she has 

no reason to, except for errant thunderstorm, car alarm, 
or worse, interloping fly beating at the window. We are all 
safe now. Even when we spend the night on separate ends, 

faces lit with respective screens, mindlessly tapping, scrolling, 
we still share the space as a kind of together. This sky-blue 
tweed boat of a sofa, made from two pieces not intended to fit. 

But it’s just what we want, and we know how to make it. 
I turn on the twinkly lights, first hung for the holidays but now 
we celebrate year-round: survival, food, community, together. 

Each with our own space, our own creatures, two only-children 
and last of their names, making a nest for a new life.

Pin(ing)s and Needles

Like blood 
returning to a limb, or an untied
tourniquet, love floods
starving arteries; every cell re-
calling trust, innate as muscle 

About the author:

Alison Lubar teaches high school English by day and yoga by night near Philadelphia. They are a queer, nonbinary femme of color whose life work (aside from wordsmithing) has evolved into bringing mindfulness practices, and sometimes even poetry, to young people.  Their debut chapbook, Philosophers Know Nothing About Love, is out now with Thirty West (May 2022); you can find out more at or on Twitter @theoriginalison.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash