The Seventeen Seconds of Odette
Hidden in Sight
Resentment as a Kind of Relief
Over the Kanawha
Culled from the Flock
The Beauty in Fracturing
The air cannot decide if it is autumn yet,
so she wavers with the wind, only worse.
Numbly aware that she must move
because it is morning,
and the rise and fall of her own chest
will not preclude the sun from rising regardless.
Her bike trembles in the breeze:
arms taut and outstretched,
her whole body sways. Caught halfway
across the bridge, it is impossible to tell
whether dawn follows the river
or if the water rushes toward the sun.
To they are both pulling her, spokes
fixed on either side; she does not know
where to place her faith.
And it is early enough to speculate a god.
She can’t stop looking for a string,
something to keep her afloat
as she leaves one concrete for another.
There is no time here to trust in fate,
so her hands hurry to find the brakes;
she clenches her fingers and stops.
I was born in an intersection like this one,
born at a stoplight, into the crossroads.
Gifted the guide of green, then red light,
and a few golden moments to decide:
to disobey—to dance through traffic
too distant to be a threat.
Blessed, maybe, to cross unscathed.
With birth, we inherit this: the in-between,
as well as two seeing eyes, if we are lucky.
Luckier still, the will to look both ways
and wonder. Luckiest, to point
at long burnt-out stars and wish—
even if god never hung them there at all.
About The Author
Anne Livingston is a sophomore at Grand Valley State University, where she is double majoring in English and Spanish, hoping to fully dedicate her life to words. Although she typically works as a traditional poet, she also engages in poetry slams, winning her most recent competition. She believes in respecting rules, save those times when they are wrong about life or love or when/where to cross the street. This often leaves her heartbroken, jaywalking or both.