Amanda Leigh Lichtenstein Poems






We make noises when we fail


Imagine dislodged bullets

Guttural chant


(Failure fists)

We failed together


Trains stall inside our sound

The whistle misses its steam


The eye-sick bull

Loses his red, olé!


At first, we held

Those furry stars and laughed:

A snorting kind of song


How the earth

Spun dizzy in our losing


Every hour

Suffered the faint passing

Of yes:


A little egg in a yellow nest

Called sun


How it all slipped

And we yelped


How we all held on

Cooing odd, original scales

Pianos, pears, peeling


Struck the surgeons

With suspicion


Even the stone skips

An extra beat these days


The ripple of waves:

Our only winning.




Amanda Leigh Lichtenstein writes poetry and creative nonfiction. Her poems appear in Contrary, La Petite Zine, In Posse Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Another Chicago Magazine, among others. Essays on teaching poetry to children appear in Teaching Artist Journal and Teachers and Writers Magazine. She is a recent graduate of the Harvard School of Education and recipient of the 2006 Vermont Studio Centers poetry fellowship. She currently lives in Chicago, IL.




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