In the summer of my promiscuity

In the summer that was not a summer
but a moment, stretched, unyielding

I yielded            I began again

in the owlsong nights and whitened days

here look here,            abandoned in the corner
            a piece of me
            and a mousehole
rounded and arched like a cartoon

in the summer which has had no summer
I still count birdsongs      I still
count steps seek paths            but now

lips are numbered in twos, and touch
is measured in absence            of weariness

here I am:      pinning up nights like exotic
            butterflies and
seeking latin names

each name given a slip
each man typeset and neat,      each
stolid body a long stretch of flesh
tied to beauty, delicate wings

last evening I counted bats
            darting across my porch

quick and dangerous, they underlined
            the things I said to you

Brandy McKenzie has published poems in more than three dozen literary magazines, and worked on the editorial boards of three different nationally distributed literary magazines. These days, she mostly works as a paralegal, teaches critical thinking and writing to community college students, and tries to provoke conversation about the alternate history she’s sure we’re entering like some sort of waking dream.

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