Soft SubjectsLillian Brown
After Yusef Komunyakaa
Say something with complete certainty,
something that you know to be true,
fact-checked & people wrecked
& get a little naked while you do it.
Strip down & speak in absolutes,
explain how you know, why you know,
who rubbed your back when it happened,
& why they’re not the one hundred & fifty
pounds of flesh snoring next to you in bed.
Say something about never cutting the crust off of sandwiches,
about second-guessing first loves & first times
& how birthdays stop & start
mattering again within the space of a few years.
Say something about your mother & your father,
about blood, curves, empty spaces, empty bedrooms.
Yes, say something about “guest” rooms
that aren’t for guests,
about flushing the dead fish,
about who slips on the ice after the storm
& who’s already waiting on the ground.
Mothering a Member of an Endangered Species
On Living With Geese
On a Train Platform in Siberia
The Tomorrow of Slot Machines
The Town’s Patron Saint Asks
Endurance in Yielding
"Boys named Josh are trouble"
Craigslist Missed Connections: theseus and the minotaur
Naming What Isn't
Matthew Travieso Williams
Cheryl A. Ossola
Gonzalinho da Costa
When in Mexico
symbol leaves no taste for the thing itself
Masters of Disguise
We Have Visitors Tonight
What Grows After a Forest Fire
For a Misplaced Hatchet