A Poem by Lauren Goodwin Slaughter


Days burn into gummy
sleep — exploding

kindred, splintered
spoon-lakes, vicious gulls

and mean, sweaty carnivals.
I’m jealous of your dreams;

kites lift you over oceans,
each phosphorescent fish

a mirrored hinge
of constellation. Some nights

you’re hired just to sit at diners
and eat endless plates of eggs.

So here —

press your forehead
to mine like a goat.

“Osmosis” appears in Lauren’s first poetry collection, A Lesson in Smallness (National Poetry Review Press)and was first published in the literary magazine Fugue. It’s republished here by permission of the author. Lauren will be reading with the poet Mark Neely as a part of the Ron Casey Reading Series. The series was established at ASFA by a generous gift from the family and friends of Mr. Casey, a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer and editorial page editor at the Birmingham News. Mr. Casey dedicated his life to using the written word to educate others and inspire a more humane, more critically aware society. The reading is free and open to the public. It will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 5, and it will be held in the ASFA Lecture Hall. A reception will follow.


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