allan peterson


I felt it, my femur, one end of the classic

cartoon dogbone where it fits my hip,

same as inside the legs of the marble figures

in Piazza Navona who were rivers as people,

its condyle sometimes a rueful fist

shaking a little if I overflex on leg-presses,

remindful of the great sculptural regret

that we will not continue to happen

long enough, or be the perfectly boneless

spirits that dance water through themselves.


Perhaps I could even eat candles and survive
the deep frozen ocean on my fats and waxes,
meet rat fish on the abyssal plain,
befriend the tubeworms and garden eels,
arise at night to shine back at the moon
that endlessly slaves for the calendar.
For now I encompass the alkaloids,
transformation hangs on my breath.
One night I ate the entire bedroom to lace
and she unfurled her leaves to please me.
Love is my host plant. This is nutrition.


Allan Peterson is the author of two books, All the Lavish in Common (2005 Juniper Prize) and Anonymous Or (Defined Providence Press), and four chapbooks. Recent print and online appearances include Prairie Schooner, Blackbird, Bellingham Review, Perihelion, Stickman Review, Marlboro Review, Massachusetts Review. Awards include fellowships from the NEA and the State of Florida.