Alison Lubar

“Take another little piece of my heart now, baby.”

Here is a souvenir of me

after Van Gogh

washed to spotless pink // this relic
whelk plucked from fleshy shell is
deep-sea rare // conjures starry nights
swirling constellations // indiscernible
from sea
         i dredge for treasure
instead // swallow salt-water
until each breath is seabreeze
// turn in ilium a pearl // iridescent
           energy // terror // the love
           i want to give back to you

                   sift // silt and sediment
                   from shimmering trinket
stuck in esophagus // caught in choke
i swallow // what surfaces you hear
with three ears // “I had a gift for you
/ a part of me / but forgot it / at home.”

love starved loves like this:

distended belly of a shelter kitten,
rumbles an outburst of urrrurrrurrr
onto your collarbone, all bird-bones
and soft-furred thunder, curled
around your heart

When our elbows brush in the dark

I miss kisses that taste like nicotine,
tingles of lust and other carcinogens,
fumbling under the cover of greenblack
theater screen, splashed with dancing
trees and sky, her colossal blush rose-
colors my own cheek and your hand on
the back of my neck goes down down
down to the true black dark under
the cover of shut eyes, mouth wide, all
of the tiny openings of every pore loose
in reception of you, anticipation of losing
track of whose hands are whose. It was
never the cigarettes that were addicting.


(Lady Macbeth's) pillow
thick (with secrets,
fills mouth) with down
(eggshell cream)
virginity, spits out
(bone as atonement,
incubates) minerals into
whole stones, smooth
(as new pearls, like the hills
of your) knuckles— every-
thing of yours is (seismic
and a map to myself, land-
scape of) inestimable (memories,
handprints in frozen sand
on a numb, barren) beach— it bites
(back) with a full set of teeth.

Alison Lubar teaches high school English by day and yoga by night. They are a queer, nonbinary femme of color whose life work (aside from wordsmithing) has evolved into bringing mindfulness practices, and sometimes even poetry, to young people.  Their debut chapbook, Philosophers Know Nothing About Love, is forthcoming with Thirty West Publishing in May 2022. Most recently, their work has been published by or is forthcoming with Moonstone Press, New York Quarterly, and Sinister Wisdom; you can find out more at or on Twitter @theoriginalison.

Interview with Alison Lubar