Dana Levin

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Dana Levin
Photo credit: B. A. Van Sise

February 25, 2025 at 7:00PM ET

Join us for a reading featuring award-winning poet Dana Levin, hosted by Carolyn Forché.

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made by February 18th to Patricia Guzman, 202-687-6294, pg654@georgetown.edu. A good faith effort will be made to fulfill requests made after February 18th.


Instructions for Stopping

–Dana Levin

Say Stop.

Keep your lips pressed together
after you say the p:

(soon they’ll try
and pry

your breath out—)

Whisper it
three times in a row:

Stop Stop Stop

In a hospital bed
like a curled up fish, someone’s

gulping at air—

How should you apply
your breath?

List all of the people
you would like
to stop.

Who offers love,
who terror—

Write Stop.
Put a period at the end.

Decide if it’s a kiss
or a bullet.

Copyright © 2017 by Dana Levin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 6, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Read more about Dana Levin.