I walked every day and listened to my heart,
worried it would rust shut. I made an object

from what I heard while walking. I gave it limbs
of metal wires, thin like the legs of spiders

ticking across windows, and a face like lilies
opening in August. I gave it a torso for appendages.

I forced it to smile. If turned upside down,
it would not cry. It may have been the color

of sky or asphalt, depending on how it was held
in light. It did not come with instructions

or spare parts. It was only a reflection
of those days I walked, listening beyond myself.




JULIE BROOKS BARBOUR is the author of Small Chimes (Aldrich Press, 2014) and two chapbooks: Earth Lust (2014) and Come To Me and Drink (2012), both from Finishing Line Press. Her poems have appeared in Waccamaw, Four Way Review, diode, storySouth, UCity Review, Prime Number Magazine, burntdistrict, The Rumpus, Midwestern Gothic, Blue Lyra Review, and Verse Daily. She is co-editor of Border Crossing and an Associate Poetry Editor at Connotation Press: An Online Artifact. She teaches composition and creative writing at Lake Superior State University.




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