Poems of the Week – Lily Brown


Sitting in the Car

Swallows fall from
wire, silver tributes

to the sun–who comes
here? Deer-faced cows

in the open range.
The black bird tucks

her wings. Swallows
all from wire. We

pass. Sideways, we are
bodies; one dimension,

being moved.



I separate. Try to
in the speech act.
How successful.
Hair flouts head.
Bones disclose the skeleton
when feet unflex. The uncontrolled
must be restricted. The air
pinned up like a bride
before a crowd. Each face
wears a mask of adult faces,
adult water from adult
showers, adult smiles sensed
through the telephone.
The ceiling with its stars.
I’m not having one kind
of experience. The ocean
at once inaudible and flat,
hot and thick with weeds.
A tree dies alone,
wounded up the trunk.
As if compression.
As if amputation.
We might keep the tree
and this the first, world I love.
The air untacks the sea.
The sea is coming inside.


Dirty Movie

They’re nudes this way.
Lithe-limbed hard bodies,
of confident cockatiel,
of fearless sparrow.
Their lying down
on their backs
on the white
grassland is sufficient.
If they sleep fitfully,
my own albino kindling
eddies some water, emits
dreams of worn teeth,
white powder.

The field acquiescing
beneath the wind
is no longer not a sheet.
The kind without
springs at its corners.


* all poems from Rust or Go Missing, Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011.

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