Liz Robbins' third collection, Freaked, won the 2014 Elixir Press Annual Poetry Award, judged by Bruce Bond. Her second collection, Play Button, won the 2010 Cider Press Review Book Award, judged by Patricia Smith. She won the 2015 Crab Orchard Review Special Feature Award in Poetry and has poems in recent or forthcoming issues of American Literary Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Denver Quarterly, Kenyon Review Online, and River Styx. She's an associate professor of creative writing at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla.
Knife Thrower’s Assistant
He scored the world record, outlining
my tiny body with eight steel hatchets
thrown in thirty seconds. But it's not
the scariest thing I've done. Miles away,
I watch our show's spotlight cut a wide
swath in the black sky, while gold birds
bang my ribs. My doodles fast strokes
with a thick pen, my lunch raw fish.
I love the clouds' rush to mask the sun,
just before a storm. Take my picture,
quick, buy us shots of coconut rum.
Show me your bullet collection, and
I'll tell you about Pompeii, whole people
in seconds gone to ash. I stay up late
till I'm at sleep's edge, then dive in bed
like a jumper from a bridge. In both
pockets, scratch-offs. Tickets from
the dog races Friday night. I don't believe
in God, I confess. But I got married last
May, my hair strung with violets. Never
had my body been so tender, as I swept
down the long blank dress.