Issue No. 19, Winter 2016

Mercury from Mariner
Allison Parker

This satellite goes out
and it doesn’t come back
until you love the work.
It’s a crash, really—
But no one gets confused,
No one greets you like an old teacher
To say you wasted it all up. You wasted
your talents, they say. You
get this satellite out, and it won’t
come back until you love the work.
On the surface of mercury, my work is far out
like the moon, too far to touch myself again
like the moon touches beam and shade.
The only Mariner sees my work is
hot like my tongue upon wake. It knows
emptiness never stains, just sits in my
stomach and I stop working. I stop.
So I must love my work and love you,
love the red haze around the iris,
the blood-shot knives of your veins,
the smoke coming out of nostrils.
The satellite never returns until we love the work.


Allison Parker is a writer and English instructor living in Wilmington, NC. She graduated with an MFA in poetry in 2002 from UNCW. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry East, Cobalt, Fjords, Lilies and Cannonballs, The Oklahoma Review, Scissors and Spackle, A Sharp Piece of Awesome, and The Lyricist. She currently performs with the sound art troupe 910 Noise.