My Town

The air waterlogged, the moon full, the sky a deeper blue
When you split a pole with a stranger
When you walk the uphill walkways on the eastside
My town deadened and terminally ill

The library parking lot is empty
No cars parked on the street
The crickets are bogged down in silence
There was only one monarch butterfly sighting in June

Is there a reason you must spit on a broom if it touches your feet
Place mirrors by themselves in rooms to not allow the devil entrance
Wear bells on a wedding dress to keep away the monsters
Walk under a ladder, walk under the hanging gallows

And then the air becomes non-breathable
The sky darkened, the moon let out a sigh
The earth moves, garbage falls into the wind
My town terminally ill and deadened

Michael H. Brownstein’s work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters & Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, Eunoia Review, Poetry Super Highway and others. He has nine poetry chapbooks, including A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004) and The Possibility of Sky and Hell (White Knuckle Press, 2013). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).

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