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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. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

still human.

for year after year, our pattern
is still driving with a flat
tire, somewhere south of
the metro, courage as diluted
as our clarity of the truth, and perhaps
for a moment, the clouds snap
into focus, backdrop shining sapphire,
sun spraying hope, and
with momentary breath, beauty
clings to the hood of the car, shining
a honey colored pool, though we
did not train our mind to
capture the tribute

© 7.17.2018 heather brager

Thursday, July 5, 2018

less than.

the summer months are a
culmination of lines
blurred, memories become
an animal, I look to my hands to
study the lines on my face, a mirror
in several dimensions, I can see right
through each sensation

I am still longing for
imperfection, again or for the
first time, I  know the heaviness of
the air from august, we have come
nearly full circle and
still my palms know who you are

how often I wait
for the future
to catch up

so many times to start and stop.

I pause to read the hand I have
been dealt, peer into the same soul with
a different face, knowing I
have never been half. 

© 7.5.2018 heather brager

Wednesday, July 4, 2018


your hands left plum colored 
remnants. but not because you wanted 
to hurt me. we both cried about
your mother, but not because we 
hurt each other. you are so afraid, and 
you know that I could love you. you know 
I don’t understand, so please 
just remember me.

Friday, June 8, 2018

the gift.

hours compose
a treaty in
poetry, and I find
myself wanting
your energy back
in my myth, in
the one we
press side by side
turning pages, the
perfume of cellulose
and lignin on
our fingertips,
tracing the faint
rise of what is
unwritten, the
careful overlap of
interludes, as we
close the covers

© 6.8.2018 heather brager

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

there are moments that time does not.

your blazing eyes at 10:43 p.m.
glancing across the kitchen table, and
her hair damp with southern
humidity and restrained hunger

your tears, Sunday morning drunk,
exposed until you fell asleep, her
hands removing loss like dust from a
tabletop; you have no idea what you lost

your mouth saying nothing, standing
at the corner of Summer and
Atlantic, on time for a southbound
train, but much too early for her comfort

your pallid cheek in lamplight, weary
with conclusions of the Yankee Inn, asleep
when you said you could not, faint scent
of lavender, and murmured invocations

© 6.6.2018 heather brager

Vladimir Fokanov.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

sorry, not sorry.

I have lost my shit in the grocery store
a damp list of items clutched in my right fist

blue ink bleeding onto my skin, grief
pushing my face to the floor with
1000 psi, next to a stack of beefsteak tomatoes

I have posed solitary and stiff-backed in the front
row, the hue of death melting around my face, feet

aching and cold from standing six hours in the
pumps that a dead man bought me as a birthday gift

I have cowered upright on a hard courtroom
bench, teeth clenched and heart held firmly

in the hands of a judge, the faces of my
two children projected clearly on the wall

I have lent the same heart to broken men, sewn
them back together with my own shaking fingers

delivered them a glass of bourbon, and stroked
their damp cheeks, while I laid down penance

for desiring a full basket of eggs, abandoned
home for just one more year, offered bowls

of sliced ginger, turmeric, garlic, and thyme
for the affection of an indifferent lover

I have drawn the beauty of a soul with a
solitary stick of graphite, to open my
abdomen for examination

for just one more fucking chance.

so don’t you dare demand
arbitrary time, or tell me
that I need to be patient.
don’t tell me how it
works to love, or explain
to me the writing
on the wall, when you
don’t even believe in
the same language.

© 5.30.2018 heather brager

(art: Erika Kuhn)

Monday, May 21, 2018

question everything.

the first night
she traced your 
silhouette for 
three days and nights
as you breathed out
her manifestation, white
light illuminating the outline
to remind of the spaces
in between true 
focus, following
your every move,
even in dreams
they lie side by side as
slices of impermanence 

the last night your 
eyes quickly flashed 
hot, and for one second 
she peered inside a 
dark space, after gifting a 
mirror of everything,
what was left of a beating
heart, vibrations 
through fingers splayed
wide open before you, and
yet, you did not yield 

you said nothing was tossed aside,
you told her to wait, and she heard 
stop, because she is too much, too 
sensitive, never quite enough  

for now press your hands 
against her flesh
hold tight to
lend a piece of 
yourself for safe keeping,
yes, just like that, 
pour, pour yourself 
into yet another soul, but
she is made of copper, humble 
goddess, prepared to
nourish and 
swallow the fated,
holding tenderness in 
oiled palms, but she is not
carrying the talisman you seek

 © 5.21.2018 heather brager

Patricia Ariel.