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Posts tagged “brandi george

Brandi George

Brandi George’s poems, which have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Ruth Lilly 2010, have appeared or are forthcoming in Cimarron Review, Fugue, Harpur Palate, Quercus, The Dirty Napkin, and Best New Poets 2010. Brandi currently resides in Tallahassee, where she is finishing her MFA at Florida State University.

Waiting for the HIV Test Results

by Brandi George

Day 1:  Existential Crisis

Microbes—I can feel them playing tag
in my neck.  They don’t love

me.  The skin around my brain has lost
its chlorophyll.  Photosynthesis.  Oblivion.

I’m lava in a box of ashes.  O
skin!  Rain down on me in puddles

I used to skip through, like matter,
like I matter on this earth.

Silly me, I wrenched the nose off
my ears.  Smell me in the summer—

blistered, childless, alone.  I’ll say
I love it all.  And I’ll be a liar.  Open

the box.  Go ahead.  Worms will fly
into your face, and you’ll smile.

Thank you!  What curious worms—
death, disease, death.  Curious

as I am, the sky won’t answer me, but creeps
inside my back with its poison

tentacles.  You shouldn’t have touched
my lip with your thumb.

Then, I wouldn’t be dying.  I wouldn’t know
the things we love are luminous

because death is a streetlamp.  Light shines brighter
in one eye, right wing beats like a storm-whipped flag.

Day 2:  Prayer

A lackadaisical genome, us.  The trees throw stars on me
so bright the sun would bleed out its hydrogen
to see.  Fly!  Your wings are big enough for two.

I blew this town Debbie-does-Dallas-style after the bark fell off
the only oak that hadn’t been hewn down.  O brutal father!
Infect me from where you hang.

Prostrate on the red carpet, stained glass cut
across my back, I let the wind blow the programs
from the pulpit, throw open my soul-flask

of McGillicutty.  You know me, Lord.  I’m the one
wearing dirty underwear, creeping from my boyfriend’s house
with JBF hair.  I’m ready for annihilation.  I get it – the universe

of helices, the collage of bones in a speck of dirt –
life is beyond sacred.  Each of us contains the spark
of creation, so it makes me crazy to think about Ebola,

the Holocaust, dead soldiers in a field.  I’m ready
for angels to fly inside my eyelids and sing “Bohemian Rhapsody,”
wake everything that ever lived until this world is a junkyard

of compressed skulls.  I beg you:  please, PLEASE don’t
hurt me; my limbs are icicles and my brain is music.
I break too hard and forever.


by Brandi George

I couldn’t stand silent while my father cocked his rifle at each thing
small enough for him to own.  I had walked since I was a boy

who turned into a girl who was called a liar by everyone
I loved.  My spirit in that angular, wiry form was red and winged

like a dog’s bloody fang.  I had walked since a sparrow, cardinal
and starling lined up on my father’s windowsill and pecked the glass

together:  snare, timpani, bass.  I’ve become the owl, howling
for the heart he couldn’t give, instead siring a bastard child

who wouldn’t enter into his world until the boy dove off a cliff
into shallow water.  I had walked since proving all hollow objects

sound like the ocean, and so I gained a vacuum—a chasm
so infinite my father-dreams could wing forever without crashing.

O tiny changeling embryo, self-sculpting clay, you are a pecking mass
in the shadow of a bolt-gashed tree, a dreamonym for dust.