poem by Molly Brodak


On the outside of dream work there is the sidewalk and the lawn
and a little matter bound in one shape and choosing. Chimes
pricking gaps in sun and clouds, the cheer lens I learn
and uphold, any maybe prism adjoining each beast’s worst thing,
o only thing, only me, each beast thinks, and upholds, and cheers
up and prays. A body cycling through purposes. Simple needles, say,
weapons made small for repair, that goal; gigantic violence pinched
into seconds, for a pang or blink or touch, explained as mistakes,
wrapped and lodged, chosen. An eclipse. This one disgust preferred
by a self; a self as the self’s dearest thing! Webbed in habit now, habit
upheld only to not tip forward or rot. Frail hole. It grows over. Cycles
of cells in a long wave of animation; the one who learned to eat
what was easiest, sun, and in choosing itself the more of itself
to uphold, so a self sees itself as only an edge, a weapon for repair
of disorder, violence’s prism. Then caring’s mistake. O patterns, we
hope. Like it lifts from purpose. A little soil could have been anything,
and adjoins its next self blankly, blank rock, we think, seeing
the self’s boundary, what rattles it, what adjoined before now absent,
& what came before can’t help, it having made this, the point of it,
& how cleanly cut away the self, against lawn and patternless chimes,
but moving, the boundary, picking and forcing, even pain,
even disorder, & caring is sometimes revised, because it disorders.
A gentle shell is only itself if crushed. The zoo of looks you give me.
A whole bolt of needles, if they are small enough, and soft like fur.
Mistakes having been lodged in. There is the lawn and
the sidewalk and enormous clouds, and I can forget.