Three new poems by Michael H. Brownstein


She massages my hands and lets me put things in my mouth
Her skin clear weather, eyes blood sucker brown, hair huckleberry opium.
Everyone needs someone they can brag to safe and strong, selfish and encouraging
As if hazardous waste can spread that thin
Or a sunset can be that spectacular through polluted haze.
Light fills a space like heat through paths of weed and wood
And she, a shadow in deadfall moving, the moon a wake left behind,
And sometimes from a lack of doing nothing, she is the sun.


Cloudlight and a red algae sky.
The dawn of dusk.
Who am I to look out this window
Thick as the narrow width of a path by the door?
Make me safe.
Curdle me into your cottage cheese world,
Heated bottled water warm,
Wool stocking warm,
Radiator steamed heat warm.
A microscope does exactly what it is supposed to.
And a sun. And its shadow. And this curve,
Just an ounce of smile, an inch
Of weight, the musky odor after.


Wake up: It’s time for us to go to sleep.
You cannot budge the great taste of potato chip soup
and, yes, there is no passion left to you,
only bloodlines and connections,
calcite and too much water,
valves and bits and pieces of copper.
Why is it we can destroy what we do understand.

Michael H. BrownsteinMichael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, and The Pacific Review. He has nine chapbooks including I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011), Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012) and The Possibility of Sky and Hell: From My Suicide Book (White Knuckle Press, 2013). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).

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