Sandra Alcosser


Claire Anna Baker "Flash"

Claire Anna Baker "Flash"

I melt into the air with a voluptuousness

so delicate I am content to be alone.

                                                        —John Keats

Aunt Ruth and I spent Saturday night

around a gray Formica table

eating hard-boiled eggs


Afterwards we’d read the Bible


I thought a girl might die from such a diet

but Aunt Ruth hit ninety, and I—


after hours of scented geraniums

a seacoast of motorcycles, painted

ducks, I bathe like John Keats

on Saturday evening


freshly powdered in a dressing gown

I sit down

to the kitchen table alone near dusk—

a single egg, a dark cup.




SANDRA ALCOSSER is the author of Except By Nature (Graywolf Press, 1998), which received the Academy's 1998 James Laughlin Award and was selected by Eamon Grennan for the 1997 National Poetry Series; Sleeping Inside the Glacier, a collaboration with artist Michele Burgess (1997); and A Fish to Feed All Hunger (1993), which was selected by James Tate to be the Associated Writing Programs Award Series winner in poetry. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, and The Yale Review. Formerly the director of Central Park's Poets-in-the-Park program in New York City, Alcosser started the MFA Program in Creative Writing at San Diego State University. She is currently a professor of poetry, fiction, and feminist poetics at San Diego State University.