Abigail Lee

Abigail is a poetry student at the University of Virginia, where she distracts herself from writing by baking copiously, reading voraciously, and listening to Christmas music every chance she gets.

Laundry at Dawn

The peach pink clouds lying across the day’s new blue

are the clothes we washed together last night—

one load, button downs and my green dress.

They smell like that lemony detergent

you pulled down, white sides slick with soap.

I pretend that they smell like you.

Where they touch me, you touch me.

And now, at sunrise, they’re hanging in the sky—

whites stained soft pink by your new red shirt

and I can hardly bear to look up.


My Sister Walking on Sand

St. John of Damascus


The gold frame, swung crooked again

draws my eye—and rehearsing: stepladder

and shift, retreat, observe, stepladder, shift

again, more to the right—deciding all

of that was still far too much to be born.

I think it hangs that way, anyway.

And the poster print of ships in deep harbor

behind the glass likes a slant—pitching decks

more pitched. I lean back, stroke the table’s grain

and think—if I can be forgiven for quoting

a saint—I will not cease from praising

matter, through which my salvation was worked.



My Sister Walking on Sand


As she steps, the small bones

of her small foot

lift to press against her skin,

stretched over them

like pink bats’ wings.


I can hear her joints groaning

as her arms swing


and everything floats on the surface

as she shivers into the ocean.







4 o’clock


The light is with us

for a little while longer.

Ice is puddled under

the groaning snow and the cracking

of trees.  Our shadows

on the ground are blue,

and strewn with

preschool glitter.



Like in paradise, here

there are piles of lemons

and men in aprons tending

the piles, placing those

that roll back up

at the top, so

warm I take

off my coat, as

the snow in my hair

melts it wet.



The tin roof shrieks

with the wind, I’m

afraid it’ll come

off, afraid that trees

can bend so far

from the true. Later

walking amid fallen

branches, I see that

they cannot.