Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 12
Spring 2015

Sappho Learns of Your Death

by Deborah Allbritain

...even now
when the deer remember,
the grass falls out of their mouths
(an Homage to Steve Kowit)

All night I pummeled 
these silken pillows, 
hurled every 
ring and bracelet 
into the fire—
In the courtyard 
still drenched 
from April rains, 
among the sweet fennel 
and sage, 
I fell to my knees
just a little short 
of dying myself—
And as magnolia blossoms 
fell like pale slips 
into my lap, 
in that unearthly spray 
of dawn light, 
I thought 
I heard your voice, 
as the wind, 
O my beloved—
Then you were gone.


* epigraph from The Gods of Rapture (pg. 109) by Steve Kowit
SHJ Issue 12
Spring 2015

Deborah Allbritain’s

poems have appeared in a number of literary journals such as: Serving House Journal, Autism Digest, Perigee: Publication for the Arts (Winter 2010), The Michigan Quarterly Review (Volume 30), The Antioch Review, The Taos Review, Cimarron Review, Main Street Rag, and The New York Quarterly.

Her work also appears in several anthologies, including: Stand Up Poetry (ed. Charles Harper Webb; University of Iowa, 2002); The Unmade Bed: Sensual Writing on Married Love (ed. Laura Chester; Harper Collins, 1992); The Book of Birth Poetry: An Eloquent and Ebullient Celebration of the Miracle of Life (ed. Charlotte Otten; Bantam, 1995); In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet’s Portable Workshop (Steve Kowit; Tilbury House Publishers, 2003); and A Year in Ink (San Diego Writers INK Anthology).

Ms. Allbritain’s chapbook The Blazing Shapes of this World was published in 2003 by Laterthanever Press (San Diego). She works as a speech pathologist in San Diego County.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury