Saturday, January 08, 2022

Perfect-est Perfection

—Poetry from Michael Brownstein, Jefferson City, MO
—Photos Courtesy of Public Domain


The day before Christmas there was a glorious silence.
Even the meth house next door closed down for the holiday.
The drunk racist bar owner did not come out of her home
with her hee-hee laughter filling the air with bad bourbon breath.
No trucks left their loud engines running as they banged
deliveries down long metal ramps. No car doors slammed.
No one cursed in East Side Terrace. No one broke a window.
No one played obscene rap music so loud it scrambled eggs.
Seventy degrees by noon, the third day of winter, a glorious quiet
and we sat on our porch, reminisced about Christmas, family
and friends, the dogs in the yard by the alley patiently perfect.
By nightfall, the moon shared the sky with a warm spring drizzle
and we settled down to dinner, in love, and then—the soft hum
of a cricket, the melody of songbirds, a whistle of wind and leaf.
No one anywhere could ask for anything so precious as this.


When day broke on Christmas Day,
it entered with a tee-shirt,
the wind from the north a shadow of itself
the sky a deep blue, the moon slipping away,
and the sun sending huge fingers
massaging the landscape of green grass,
naked trees, and the brown cusps of weed.

We entered the outside not with trepidation,
but joy, and the warmth of the day swallowed us.
December 25th, winter in mid-Missouri
and no sign of anything but spring.
The dogs gathered in the yard
and basked themselves in the refreshing warmth,
birds swung on the long leaves of the pampas grass
and insects woke to see for themselves
what all of the fuss was about.

And so it went. The day became hotter,
the north wind whimpered into nothingness,
and we went from one moment to the next,
holding hands, hugging, every now and then a kiss.
Everything the way it is expected to be.


The first dawn after Christmas
Day entered our room like a rapture,
thick sunlight hugging us with beauty.

We did not eat breakfast.

On the porch, a scattering of clouds,
a light fog flowed from the river,
the sky streaming towards blue.
a glorious, glorious silence,

and we held suitcases full of love.

The usual drunks who come for beer
and breakfast did not appear across the way,
its drunken owner did not get out of bed.

I was surprised she had not opened.

We went inside for mint tea, slabs of fry bread,
egg-white omelets, and we sat next to each other
as if we were teenagers in love, and we were in love
but no longer teenagers. I kissed her on the neck

and said, This is perfectly perfect perfection.


morning enters the room
a selfie
behind the hills
unconscious on his porch
empty bottles nearby

the disease of the woman,
saliva dripping from her open mouth
onto the sidewalk in a place once called
White Clay, Nebraska

the self-inflicted trauma
Calumet and 45th, Chicago,
heroin in small bags
a line of cars waiting for the children—

not the sharpness of a razor,
a jerk of steel, an edge
of a splinter, the scars of fire,
a cramp named after Mickey

Did you think this was a poem for Thanksgiving
Michael Kidd, the kingpin drug pusher,
is now using his product


Today’s LittleNip:

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

—Albert Einstein


—Medusa, grateful for Michael Brownstein’s set of poems today, celebrating the miracles/non-miracles of the holidays and the days that follow.


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