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Poetry by Michelle Brooks

State Your Specific Intention Here
I’d like to go back to an ordinary
Sunday afternoon where we played
pinball on a Sopranos-themed machine
in a dark bar in downtown Detroit. We
drank Johnny Walker scotch while Lou
Reed played from a boombox behind
the counter. With the place to ourselves,
we worried it wouldn’t stay open much
longer. And it didn’t. What neither of us
could imagine is that you would die before
the decade ended. When we left, I remember
thinking about the sky, about the shade
of blue before it goes dark and how it
seems like it will stay that color forever.
Of course, the night always arrives, but
for that moment, there is nothing else.
Make the Darkness
The night, a question I can’t
answer, subsumes me. It whispers,
Let’s make a deal
. You can’t see
everything. That’s part of the fun.
I don’t choose so the party chooses
me. I only love a room once everyone
has left it, a crime scene in which I
search for clues, a narrative. You
can’t understand something until it’s
over. And what do I find? I won’t reveal
anything except to say I write to you
in invisible ink, my words bleeding
into the night with all the other ones.
And let’s face it, if this story has a happy
ending, I’ll be as surprised as you are.

Michelle Brooks has published a collection of poetry, Make Yourself Small, (Backwaters Press), and a novella, Dead Girl, Live Boy, (Storylandia Press). Her poetry collection, Pretty in A Hard Way, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2019. Her collection, The Pretend Life, was published by Atmosphere Press in February 2020. A native Texan, she has spent much of her adult life in Detroit.

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