Return to Current Issue Cover Page



Friday night it’s rentals we want—videos for the kids, for the ticking void between now and when they finally sleep. Come to find our store’s going out of business, small fish about to be eaten by Blockbuster. Amir, the Iranian behind the counter says he’s sorry, I will miss you, he says. Now I’ll never hear the whole story of his fleeing the Ayatollah and I’m worried what’s going to happen to him until he tells me of finishing school, his degree in sonography, weekend shifts already secured at St. John’s. While the children fleece the aisles for vintage Bugs and Roadrunner, we talk of wars—the endless loop of destruction playing across the world’s crumbling theatre. My husband pays for the tapes, wrapped in their sun-faded jackets, and we’re gone. Some relief—the picture of our friend in days to come, leaning in the dark over a woman’s expectant belly: fluorescents dimmed and all heads cued to view an exam room’s glowing monitor. I see his hand travel the oiled dome of skin, track limbs and feet nesting below. Then the tiny heart seed amplified, sounding out its steady code—the faint commotion of life beating on.

Copyright 2006 by Michelle Bitting


Michelle BittingMichelle writes:
These poems were inspired by my children, some by events that although difficult we somehow managed to live through-a little beauty sprung here, perhaps, in the form of poetry, in spite of everything.

Michelle Bitting has work forthcoming or published in Glimmer Train, Swink, Prairie Schooner, Small Spiral Notebook, Nimrod, The Southeast Review, Clackamas Literary Review, Poetry Southeast, Slipstream, Dogwood, Salt Hill, Pearl, Rattle, and others. She has won the Glimmer Train, Rock & Sling, and Poets On Parnassus poetry competitions. Formerly a dancer and a chef, she teaches children and is a devoted outreach worker. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband Phil Abrams, an actor. They have two children, Elijah and Vera Rose. Last summer, Michelle attended the Squaw Valley Writer‘s Conference, and in June 2006 she will commence work on an MFA at Pacific University in Oregon. Michelle can be reached via email at:

Return to Poetry index