Monday 20 June 2022

Three Poems by Michael H. Brownstein

 


THE DANCE OF TWO COAT HANGERS

 

Something soft, perhaps indelible.

Make sure the bathtub water is cold to the touch,

but not unbearable--lean into your body--

find your quiet space.

But first, the door must be locked.

No one can disturb you.

 

The hangers, elongated, stretch to the thighs,

its metal hard, your skin pliant,

a mixing of fear and a mixing of anxiety.

This is how some of the things you care about

become things you can no longer bear,

how everything can change in a second

and fever on forever.

 

If the metal does not find an entrance,

do not force it.

When you bend too far towards your knees,

when you lose touch with yourself,

if the metal scrapes into blood,

if a cloud becomes solid and a fog sweat,

listen carefully to your eyes.

Tears are often lifesavers.

Sobs are often the only way to get out of the water.

Do not ever allow yourself to drown.

 

Then

rest within melody, thick breath, a shadow of whisper--

I performed this dance once, and succeeded.

A best friend, no.

Before you leave this evening,

be aware--and she finally paused--

every dance you will do from then on will be less fragile.

 

 

BECOMING

 

--Because of Melanie Monterey Eyth

 

Who does a poet love

if not the poem within,

the rhythm and the image

standing near enough

throwing everything off 

balance, almost drunk?

 

 

Mining Peace

 

When I cried

my cries bruised the wind--

when I sighed

my sighs formed crystals in the rain--

when I tried

I discovered mountaintops of glory--

but when I lied,

when I had to much pride,

ice formed in my stomach

and then I found my spirit guide

and my cries became cries of joy,

my sighs the light within stars,

my tries victories even in failure

and each day began as a rainbow.




Michael H. Brownstein's latest volumes of poetry, A Slipknot to Somewhere Else (2018) and How Do We Create Love (2019) were both published by Cholla Needles Press.

 

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