Michael Robins

Pacific Standard Time

For an audience of threadbare towels, the first cup mimics the next across the kitchen table. The birdcalls at dawn slip through the ancient windows & under the door that too often stumbles on its track. Between the crow & the crawl of the newsfeed, there wobbles an uncanny resemblance. A crooked mirror in which you brush your teeth & examine the temper of Wednesday, ghosts of a blue hydrangea near the bottom of the driveway. Now the stump out there becomes a dog: one spider, then the delusion of spiders everywhere. Under the increasing light, the growl of a faraway mower paces the cage of its lawn. Other than thunder—those clouds that no less brood as the hours double & hurry to their burrows—there’s little warning of the rain.

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Michael Robins is the author of five collections of poetry, including People You May Know (2020) and The Bright Invisible (2022), both from Saturnalia Books. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, Bennington Review, The Best American Poetry, Court Green, and Mississippi Review. He lives in the Portage Park neighborhood of Chicago. More at ifyoulivedhere.substack.com.

Bear Review

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