Sally Bliumis-Dunn

Romance; Aubade: Sally Bliumis Dunn


The Giant Swallowtail is lit
with yellow markings as if

the sun shone on its walnut-colored wings
from clerestory windows—

and we are back in the foreign language
library, walnut-paneled walls, late afternoon,

in another life, where you and I would sit for hours
at the long wooden table,

our copies of Brothers Karamazov open
to our separate trails of notes in the margins

climbing the page, mine in red, yours
in blue, believing books

could carry us up mountains
on their backs like sturdy horses.



You call it the jeweling hour,
these miniature glistening globes

all over the pines—
like a glass bead necklace

left on a woman’s dresser
that cannot possibly tell the tale

of what happened before
the tousled bed lay empty.

With a little wind or sun
the water droplets

will disappear from the trees
and you and I will cut

the peaches for our cereal, read
the paralyzing headlines in the paper,

but for now, their glister
dangles on the branches

from last night’s rain that held
the house in its wild pounding

Sally Bliumis-Dunn teaches Modern Poetry at Manhattanville College and the Palm Beach Poetry Festival. Her poems appeared in New Ohio Review, On the Seawall, The Writer’s Almanac, Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, PLUME, Poetry London, the NYT, PBS NewsHour, upstreet, The Writer’s Almanac, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-day, and Ted Kooser’s column, among others. In 2002, she was a finalist for the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize. Her two books, Talking Underwater and Second Skin were published by Wind Publications in 2007 and 2010. Galapagos Poems was published by Kattywompus Press in 2016. Her third full-length collection, Echolocation, was published by Plume Editions/Madhat Press in March, 2018. Echolocation was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Best Poetry Book for 2019 and long-listed for the Julie Suk Award.