Alicia Jo Rabins

There are beautiful girls out there on the beach

like baubles on the world's wrist.

I'm surprised when they let me kiss them.  (Rarely).

But I'm lucky, I tell myself all the time.  You're lucky, 

it's very important that you understand how lucky you are:                          don't help me write this letter, just step back 

and think about it for a minute.

What you call lonely, someone else would call "not-hungry,"


So why are you crying, dear I? 

There's a seashell I want to pick up.  I want to stick my tongue

in its salty whorls. Yes, it hurts to want,

doesn't it.  It never stops hurting. 

And you’ll never be comfortable in Florida:

long thin land of bathing suits and alligators,

the whole state is a charm bracelet

on the wrist of a girl 

you’re not supposed to touch.  


Found In Volume 44, No. 04
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Alicia Jo Rabins
About the Author

Alicia Jo Rabins won the 2015 APR/Honickman First Book Prize for her collection Divinity School. She is also a composer, musician, and Torah scholar. Alicia’s poems appear in Ploughshares,  6x6, The Boston Review, and elsewhere.  She teaches ancient Jewish texts to children and adults and performs internationally as a violinist and singer.  Alicia lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, daughter, and son.