Amy Billone 

First Job


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.


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