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"Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard." Anne Sexton 

Heather Brager is a critically acclaimed juggler of calamity, an accomplished procrastinator, and shuffler of idioms. Her poetry and drawings can be found in various digital and print journals around the globe, and on the web.  She currently resides in New England and prefers the precipice of where the Atlantic meets the sand to the official looking office where she spends most of her time. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

jagged little pills.

the wreckage has been surveyed
many times over, an itinerary carefully
deleted, line by resonant line
the dark ring inside yesterday’s porcelain
cup left on the kitchen
counter, diluted bourbon on
the bedside table next to the Ativan

when did we learn that love was
currency, attention meager
crumbs for starving
beasts, when did we misplace our
own fragile beauty with remnants
of shattered hope and reconstructed
dishes, following each tragedy

you divert your eyes but demand
to be seen, cry out but desire
solitude behind walls you built, but
they will not keep you safe from the
ghosts you have protected
within your rib cage, the terror that
runs you until shadows swallow hard

© 6.22.2017 heather brager

Rafael Duarte Más.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

windsor street.

as I stoop to pick up a 
tarnished penny, time collapses
I am a funeral’s pace, fingers slowly 
scraping the pavement,
hair falling forward in a 
fluid motion, gently
stroking the back of 
my freckled hand

from behind my eyes I 
am watching, blurred sparrows stealing 
crumbs from beside the curb, a bus stop
woman fanning herself with a 
crumpled magazine, I am
peering across the baked-hot parking lot at 
myself, an anonymous woman, lost 
and still losing, a little girl finding
a treasure among discarded
wrappers, next to an empty whiskey bottle

© 6.20.2017 heather brager

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

your lexicon.

my heart is unraveling  
the symbiosis, while you
are writing a melody
in the shape of endings with
words resonating to the corners
slipping through hidden
cracks in the foundation
meeting my humid dawn
with nothing at all. 

© 6.13.2017 heather brager

Monday, June 5, 2017

edit, ad nauseam.

oh lover, please
domesticate this lonely
little ego
she’s been waiting
for your hands and
your fingers
to become
tangled in her hair
she’s been waiting
up late into
each night, aching
for your
your shimmering,
silver tongued

please, take this
scantily clad poem
in all of its
vulnerable nakedness
slide it slowly across
your tongue
word away
oh, sweet amylase,
this malaise
reduces her to
a complex technical

© 6.5.2017 heather brager

Julia Randall. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017


a dark branch, a cup
perhaps it was mislaid 
with everything else, a 
starving nomad’s gamble 
for adjacency, a tender
metaphor for wandering
down pleasant street

© 5.18.2017 heather brager

Thursday, May 4, 2017

presence, or pretense.

it is long before dawn, she is naked
and he is fully clothed, this
is the way they often present, distant
mirrors and white space, soft
as her inner arms and belly,
vacant rooms, a payment with words
here and there, please take this offering
accept this tenderness, on mute

it presents as contradiction, that
surreal and abstract, or organic
art cannot physically harm them, that
art cannot leave them financially
destitute after dying, or abandon them
on a corner with a plum colored
cheekbone, and a scarlet
right hand of knuckles

it is beauty that draws them both
possibility in each image, patterns
spread across her thighs, in black and white
forgiving tongues, and burdens lost in
connection, and his dark eyes
juxtaposed against the white
space, a backdrop of violent landscapes
leaning patiently against the wall 

© 5.4.2017 heather brager

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

acceptance is a blank page.

the loose ends you leave behind and
how you disappear show the ones
who love you everything they will ever need to know

the first stage of grief leaves you standing in the grocery store a
forgotten child, the face of loneliness wielding a knife
next to local produce and a bent woman
who shouts “dear, are you okay” as you crumple to your knees
staring blankly at the empty space

you relive the fear in your stories as a reminder that you can,
to justify what your clever mind will not permit you to release

terror follows you across the parking lot to your car
anger clings like a wet dress tripping you up
exposing the truth, spinning the truth
helpless as a spider circling in a bathroom drain

loss is drowning at the bottom of a bottle
re-reading words written by the perfect lover
who never could have existed, but in your mind

pain is a silhouette with his back to the
wind, looking over dark water in a soundless loop
though you are not permitted to see his face
because he is always turning away

the fifth stage of grief slides over you silently as
morning splays across the cat at the foot of the bed, sliding
up the wall and over dust that covers a smiling face in graphite
maybe you remember being content then,
but those eyes are no longer yours

© 4.25.2017 heather brager