Sunlight carves into my unused
desk and chair. On my empty
book shelf, a small bronze statue
curves his vigorous, muscled
spine, one elbow resting on a thick,
creased leg, a huge godlike fist under
his brooding chin. (Cathedral bells
chime seven times.) Behind him,
a woman’s shadow looms featureless
in a Picasso print. She sits with her
head pressed to arms pressed to
knees. Maybe she is crying.
Right now I see her more easily
than the graspable, athletic,
thinking man. She seems more
solid than the setting sun’s blonde
bands. This scares me. Tomorrow
I must bring my biggest books in.
"First Job" appears simultaneously with the publication of the author's book of poems, The Light Changes.
Amy Billone is Associate Professor of English at the University of Tennessee. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Princeton University in 2001. Her poetry collection is The Light Changes from Hope Street Press (2013). Her book of literary criticism, Little Songs: Women, Silence and the Nineteenth-Century Sonnet, was published by The Ohio State University Press in 2007. In 2005 she edited Peter Pan for Barnes and Noble Classics. She has published poems widely.