The National Poetry Review

Allison Adair


The graverobber has finished his shift.
He gets in his car and turns the key,
curses the defroster. His wife has hung
the delicates by now, is setting the alarm clock.
She shuts a drawer full of silver.

When he climbs into bed her hair smells like
nothing new to him, or to us. He looks
at the ceiling to relax his eyes, remembers her
wrist sliding out of a thin bracelet,
touches her body as if it were different

than how he touches ours, his curtains pulled
back – they don’t know what a graverobber
could have to hide. Outside, our bodies swarm
the house, buckets of dirt slamming our legs,
rigid, vermiculated. We have come to bury

past ills. If we have any say, tonight we’ll be
the ones patting shovels on the narrow plot.
We’ll be the innards slow-stewing in a soft bed.
The window splits without a fight and we are brave
again, full of nerve, coming to reclaim our lost sparkle.

ALLISON ADAIR’s poems appear or are forthcoming in Best New Poets 2015, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review, Mid-American Review, Mississippi Review, Missouri Review (Poem of the Week), Shenandoah, Southwest Review, and Third Coast, among other journals. Winner of the Fall 2015 Orlando Prize and the 2014 Fineline Competition, Adair teaches at Boston College and Grub Street.