This woman doesn’t believe in it.
This is what happens
shifting the past around
on a cluttered table,
cauldron of the quotidian.
What time is it?
She needs to tweak her mission.
not starting a family.
A misplaced apostrophe
confuses ownership with a state of being.
Sick of supplementing the sun.
Out of sorts.
She stands up to leave,
zips up her space suit,
boots still scuffed from the last time.
I go after her.
From a distance, the man
digging in the garbage can
looked like a couple kissing,
which made me start.
Proximity revealed that my heart
should have had different reasons
for what it felt. Knowledge
is a building squeezed
into the neck of a wine glass,
forced by perspective.
The stem is a whole city block,
captured for the sake of something
called beauty, and I know
people will like it almost as much
as their dinners, which they virtually share
with thousands who never taste a bite.
We are all sinners. The woman who smiles
on the train (unreasonably, the whole ride,
eyes wide, and teeth), everyone looks
(can they see?) and concludes
she must be on drugs, or ought to be.
Her grin makes us tense.
The imperfect present.
The future progressive.
When I get home,
the bug I find on the window sill
is not up to mischief,
but I don’t trust it.
I open the window
and I thrust it away.
Don’t Forget Your Hard Hat
You know people, right?
Down at the old curiosity shop,
photos of women breastfeeding.
A second glass of scotch.
You didn’t hear a thing I just said
and now I need to vacuum again.
That’s more than most people have.
doing a dance of joy.
Don’t forget your hard hat.
The Year of the Dragon.
Could it be counterfeit?
Then I’m your man.
I’m reading about the first kind of plastic.
Maybe medical billing and coding is more your style.
It’s like you’re from another planet.
A new approach is on the horizon.
It’s slightly used.
The Body Weathers The Storm
This is my syllabus,
seen through a pane.
Bones are not glitches.
These perennial spectacles are
more than mechanisms
writing their own revisions.
Decay is something’s birthday.
To live is so startling
it leaves little time for anything else.
What’s a kiss on the cheek to a hurricane?
The signal bleeds
in the basement of a lighthouse.
Your umbrella inverts.
It’s time to go home.
Assume the correct inauthentic posture.
What is rain for?
To break things down and make things grow.
If we were whale songs we would travel.
No need to see the unlabeled dial,
the combination works.
All of our interactions are a museum
Admission is hardly free
and we’re always there,
our exhaustible capabilities.
Jillian Brall co-edits the online poetry journal, Lyre Lyre. Her poetry has appeared in Ping Pong Magazine, Connotation Press, Ragazine, Yes, Poetry, and other journals. She is also a visual artist, focused on abstract painting and collage. She works as the Licensing Associate at W.W. Norton, and resides in Jersey City. To view some of her recent artwork, please visit venusspinsbackwards.com.