Yvonne Amey has an MFA in poetry from the University of Central Florida and lives and teaches in Florida. Her poems, fiction, and nonfiction have
appeared in The Florida Review, Tin House and elsewhere


Yvonne Amy


A clown lamp in the middle of a tent; a tent hammered

into the floor of a cheap hotel; a chainsaw in the arms

of a weatherman; an 8x10 of dad hanging from the rear

view mirror of our Plymouth Voyager; saddle shoes

on the feet of an otherwise sensible otolaryngologist;

maybe the way you always let me choose the TV channels

is why I can't live with myself; an ice storm breaking

apart my limbs; a heart beating inside a transplant cooler;

a sister still looking for her brother's clown lamp.

Everything I do is an accident

Yvonne Amy


like lilacs when they hang in a neck of rope

or a map of noise that follows me into streetlights at 4A.M.

near where you lie under bluegrass and stone

or why I never visit but passed by your body lonely

a thousand times

or why my hands are not clean

or why this color grey feels better than I remember

or for $100 dollars a crack addict will kill anybody for anyone

and while the world grows bombs that sound like a room

or a dream I had last night of       you

haven't changed       I watch the leaves change

and fall onto your headstone

fixing the color of your house

or why cold air is the engine of my grief

and why I can't lift stones without you

and I know my dogs are better people than most people

and if I drown in this dirt beside you let me remember how I did it.

C&O Canal

Yvonne Amey


I'd forgotten the O was for Ohio

and how your Sycamores stand tall   

and silent like a field of tall silence.


I'd forgotten how frail you are

and how your sons have forgotten you

and how our miles along the towpath

have vanished like empires

and their empire-crimes.


I'd forgotten why I've forgotten you

and how pale your legs are.


I've missed you—

Golden ragwort & Philadelphia fleabane

         When I return, I'll run with you again.



Yvonne Amy


The prompt is you and an image—

crumbled paper in a corner,
beauty in its unevenness,

the way a coroner delivers a body of news,
the way a woman douses herself
in gasoline and lights up a Christmas party

The prompt is you and an image—
an elderly couple because it's jacket weather

in their kitchen and all they have
is the world throwing them away

The prompt is you and an image—
tied to an image of you becoming
the sunset so I can find my way home

The prompt is you and the rain comes down in slow songs.