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Testing is in Room B

a fresh new poem by Alexandria Peary

Testing Is in Room B

Alexandria Peary 


I was told to kick
at the yellow paper
to make it talk
about the Roses: 

that enormous morning glory
that grows at dusk
on an umbilical cord 
over the browse line.

Thinking about the Roses
waiting in the yellow room,
I kicked the face
on the table

until pores on a map
smoked pink,

Told to use the Eagle or Horse club
because a psychological test
said “stubborn.”

I observed how the face on the table
was already giving up
around the nose and mouth.

Black lashes floated
down the white peninsula
of the proctor’s face.

How did we get so lucky,
stepping away
from the Port-a-Potty
with striped awning,
come out smelling like roses?

On the school desk
the pockmarked continent
said it would hurt my foot,
damage the estate sale.

It did all of that and more.
After the beatings,
the morning glory produced an apple.
It left a piano-sized apple

listening in every room.
A backwash of green
hosed down my mouth.





Alexandria Peary's third book of poems, Control Bird Alt Delete, received the Iowa Poetry Prize and was published by the University of Iowa Press in 2014. Peary's other books include Lid to the ShadowFall Foliage Called Bathers & Dancers, and the forthcoming Creative Writing Pedagogies for the 21st Century (co-edited with Tom C. Hunley, forthcoming 2015). Her poetry has appeared in Volt, New American Writing, Denver Quarterly, Verse Daily, The Gettysburg Review, and The Chariton Review and has received the Joseph Langland Award from the Academy of American Poets and the Slope Editions Book Prize. Other writing has recently appeared or is forthcoming in New England Review, Guernica, Superstition Review, and Hippocampus.  She maintains a mindful writing blog, Your Ability to Write is Always Present, at