Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Michael H. Brownstein - A LANGUAGE OF SILENCE

--because of Sandeeo Permar, Sylvia Plath, Dorothea Lasky, Sharon Olds, and too many we wanted to be mothers

this was supposed to be


not this silence:

yes, this was supposed to be

instead, a silence--

not a sign of warning
not a sign of breath
not a sign of anything

supposed to be


only silence


to not wake up
to not see the mansions made of skin
the root of bone
the splashes of gum disease across graffiti littered lawns

a flux of heat
blisters and blistered lips
tongues swollen into heavy shipyard knots
scurvy and bacteria laden lemonade

a sudden loss of oxygen
felt paper and cellophane 
sweat and spit
an inability to scream

muscular turbulence
a loss of self confidence
brain waves thin as spider venom and the hollowing of a fly


(originally published in Moss Trill)

In the aftermath
of aftermaths
there came a man of math
who knew after-maths

shtam-retfa wenk oho
htam fo nam a emac ereht
shtamertfa fo
htamertfa eht ni

and so it went
dog begot god
god begat dog

looped pool-ed
level reap level pear

ton of (k)not(s)
was (a) saw
and so it is

htam retfa emac ohw
nam a saw ereht tub
htamertfa rehtona ton saw ereht
htamertfa eht fo gninrom eht ni

in the morning of the aftermath
there was not another aftermath
but there was a man 
who came after math


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