Jan/Feb 2017 Poetry

Three Poems

by Michelle Brooks

© 2016 Elizabeth P. Glixman

© 2016 Elizabeth P. Glixman

The Saint of This Used To Be

I didn't know any better except to love
it, the bluish glow of televisions at night,
snow that fell like promises only to
turn dirty and gray, like the city itself.
The landlords told us that this used
to be paradise while I watched
a neighbor choke his daughter. Bitch,
he yelled, this is your last chance.
The streets in the city changed names
halfway, leaving me to wonder what
miracle or wonder might happen next.


The Kitchen Is Closed but the Bar Stays Open Late

On daytime television shows, the fog
telegraphs that it's all a dream. I only
know there's a car. It runs on blood, but
I wake up before I give enough to drive.
Awake, I'm always later than I think.
It's always a full moon. Sirens wail. Neon
glows. This world full of these splashes
of noise and color only says, Keep going.


This Painting Is Part of Our Permanent Collection

You wake to the accident of your life.
You dreamt that none of this ever happened,
that the dead didn't really die, that fire never
burned, the results came back negative. Relief
floods you until you open your eyes, return
to your old house. The key you left under the rock
so long it left an imprint in the dirt is gone. You'll
have to break a window. You are willing to inflict
damage. Whoever is calling will have to wait. Don't
worry. Nothing has changed except the locks.


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