My Body, A Barometer

Sasha Steensen

Elsewhere, phloemlift you uptuber or bulbthe first wordI heardwhen I wokewas the nurse'swell, she saidit wentjust outside.At first I thoughta holefilled with watera bucket on a ropemy sleeping reachI guessbut even that(assumption) seemeda strugglewhat doesthe body knowof where it goeswhen the breastis openeyes closedthere is a fogunfoldingthat sits lowon the foothillsfor some daysand nightsfor some weeksand monthsthe strangestthingis the waywords hide                                    ✧Sometimes it is ok to be afraid& necessaryI have one handwith fearin itI holdit outtoward the wildsthe doveor eaglethe beakor feetlandand tearthe branchto bein factis to beitinerantinsidethat which iserrant but unableto moveby virtueof its holding truthtight in its fist.Only one of usneedsthe other,doctor.I spend my dayswith youlooking outyour windowsmy dove hasn'tcome  backwith its olive branchbut I look outfor herfrom my poston the second floorof the cancer centergo ahead,touch me therehere & here & here.

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Sasha Steensen is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Gatherest (Ahsahta Press) and Every Thing Awake (forthcoming, Shearsman Press).  Recent essays can be found at Essay Press and Interim.  She teachings Creative Writing and Literature at Colorado State University where she also serves as a poetry editor for Colorado Review.  She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with her husband, two daughters, a flock of chickens, two standard poodles and a very fierce barn cat. You can find out more about Sasha and her work at

Spring 2019

Geneva, New York

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

David Weiss
Geoffrey Babbitt

Poetry Editor
Kathryn Cowles

Seneca Review, founded in 1970 by James Crenner and Ira Sadoff, is published twice yearly, spring and fall, by Hobart and William Smith Colleges Press.

Distributed internationally, the magazine’s emphasis is poetry, and the editors have a special interest in translations of contemporary poetry from around the world. Publisher of numerous laureates and award-winning poets, including Seamus Heaney, Rita Dove, Jorie Graham, Yusef Komunyakaa, Lisel Mueller, Wislawa Szymborska, Charles Simic, W.S. Merwin, and Eavan Boland, Seneca Review also consistently publishes emerging writers and is always open to new, innovative work.

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