song of a small city by Alison Prine


a small city is not an apple

it is not a cathedral or a gown

a small city produces a confetti rain of tree blossoms

in the breath of a small city there are translations and the clinking of coins

here light falls across our faces

here one hour is transplanted into the next

a small city does not recognize its own hands

a small city holds up less sky and is therefore less grand and less weary

a small city does not muscle toward the sea

the distance from the top to the bottom of a small city is one lost shoe


ALISON PRINE’s debut collection of poems, Steel, was chosen by Jeffrey Harrison for the Cider Press Review Book Award and was released in January 2016. Her poems have appeared in The Virginia Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Prairie Schooner, among others. She lives in Burlington, Vermont, where she works as a psychotherapist.