Priscilla Atkins

Pajama Party


Reading James Schuyler, late

March, snow gone, mellow

speaker in pajamas (okay,

“undershorts”) is enjoying

his morning Maxwell House

(btw: a vintage 60s tin, lid

intact, sells today for ten

dollars—hey, what would

sweet Jimmy make of eBay?

he’d love it, that’s what) as he

tunes a post facto line to

the shine of maple light,

fat sliver of pages in the livre

du jour (some dead dude’s

collected letters, I bet)—I,

as a matter, am lounging all

post-facto in my aqua p.j.’s

stamped with brimming

white coffee cups, each bedecked

with a pink square—

oops! it’s tea, not coffee,

hangs a tag, pink or otherwise:

point is, each cup hosts

two slo-mo squiggles of steam

reminding me of those ashy

snakes we’d light 4 July

(leaning-tower-of-Pisa flourishes—

the works) while, inside, deep

bronze invites lips, tongue,

even teeth, as if it’s (tags be

damned) pot de crème or

Mexican chocolate.


 Priscilla Atkins grew up in Central Illinois, went to college in Massachusetts, and taught in Los the San Fernando Valley for a year. She lived in Hawaii for a decade before moving back to the Midwest. Her poems have appeared in The Los Angeles Review, The North American Review, Poetry London, and other journals. Her collection, The Café of Our Departure, is due out from Sibling Rivalry Press in 2015.