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  • Alani Hicks-Bartlett


2020 Contest - Runner-Up.


Art by J.R. Korpa

from this precipice she sings

with her raucous voice and

asks what all the wasting

is about.

the bird song

falls like pearls of rain

or dew, the bees’ provisions

brim full on the comb,

and the lazy heifer eyes

the rocking rook.

the scale

is off, I tell her,

from this crest, and gay,

we see the butting sheep

below, small substances bustled back

and forth by winds.

she cries

that autumn slows the

footsteps and the mind and

looks for foragers among the

blades of grass.

the frilled

lizard by her hand blooms

bright with blood, the murderous

sight a bruise upon her

brow. treading lightly goes the

springing cotton rat, the grass

below lays flat and low

and dry.

we’re made

to leave the ridge for greater

homes, but find them small

and tight and keep on

passing by.


Alani Rosa Hicks-Bartlett is a writer and translator whose recent work has appeared in The Stillwater Review, IthacaLit, Gathering Storm, Broad River Review, ellipsis...literature & art, The Fourth River, and Mantis: A Journal of Poetry, Criticism, and Translation, among others. She is currently working on the following projects: a novel set in Portugal, translations of medieval French love poems and sonnets from early modern Petrarchan poets, along with a collection of villanelles.

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