Phillis Levin

June 12, 2014 Levin Phillis



Because it hangs from the center of the sky,

I play there sometimes, too, far away

From you, forgetting to return

Until my own fluttering breath unsettles me


More than the spaces pulsing between stars.

For years I rose in dreams beyond

Earth’s atmosphere: each night,

As I left the mother ship to bob along


The surface of the moon, the cord

Snapped and I drifted away, pulled into

An orbit from which I couldn’t break free.


My hands reach up to grab the yoke:

It stretches down, arms glittering,

A few crumbs of creation following.

Phillis Levin has poems forthcoming in Kenyon Review, The New Yorker, and Plume Poetry 8. Her newest collection, Mr. Memory & Other Poems (Penguin Books, 2016), was a finalist for The Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She is the author of four other collections and the editor of The Penguin Book of the Sonnet: 500 Years of a Classic Tradition in English. She lives in New York and teaches at Hofstra University.