Poetry / Poets

3 poems by April Michelle Bratten

Before the Wedding

I should have been writing
before the wedding,
a lake of white,
crumpled,
with stocking legs spread
on bathroom floor,
hair, uncurled
and free–
a circle of women
paused
in mid-dress,

their hands useless, their
bras showing.

Tin Fish

Your kiss was a sweet hook clinging
to my bottom lip, coaxing the blood to sing,
to red the surface.

We read big piles of books, drank like
sea creatures, and watched one another
pound the waters.

Now we are tin fish.  We swim nowhere.

You have filled my body with dead plants,
with mud and loose circuitry, but I am
not afraid anymore.

Lightning bolt, my hair has grown as long as
a bridge.  It lights the people up.  It makes
them feel alive.

I welcome the foot traffic.

A Conversation With the Dead 

The table is a dark wood,
one hundred miles long,
a bridge between us.

He sits in his chair
as if half dead.

I do not move to
resuscitate him.

A bird lands its delicate feet
near my elbow,
but flies
when I reach for it.

I look up again at the Dead,
repeat my question to him,
and remember how we once
fucked in the sunlight.

His eyes glare through me
from the meadow of our distance,
the color of parsley
or a healthy evergreen,
but now no animal will go near
his skin.

He slumps against the table.

He used to call to me,
brightly, from his window,
birds along his arms,
birds in his hair,
come back,
come in,
stay,

and I would run to him,
eager as a deer.

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One thought on “3 poems by April Michelle Bratten

  1. Pingback: Rooftops is now listed on Up the Staircase Quarterly’s Bookshelf | The Blue Hour

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