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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. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

love as metaphor.

these flowers we prune,

water, expose to the light,

then string up to die


© 11.20.2017 heather brager

Friday, November 3, 2017

aurora, aurora.


lent to the autumn
gusts, jeweled trees
murmuring truth under
an expectant moon, months
pregnant with probability, rich with
faltering grace, left tangled
in silent spells and threats of
darkness on their heels, oh
breathe, breathe the absence 
hunted and held down
by a silky dawn

they are filling their
cups, hands in milk and
honey, palms upturned
to a charlatan, piercing
all directions at once
aurora, aurora
the truth north, the
transformation a
lightening birth



© 11.3.2017 heather brager


Tatiana Plakhova.

Friday, October 13, 2017

October, begin.

and just like that, all of the endings were
drawn to sea, imaginary burdens pulled deep
under the morning tide as it succumbed to
the shoreline, unlimited power sucked against
my boots, with both feet firmly planted, the sun
finally reached me, warming my skin and hair

and what if truth is actually universal, love
synonymous with struggle the grandiose lie, what 
if pain and sacrifice were only fear hunting me 
down, dimming my irises to pale, sharpening
each edge to arm me against my own quiet
nakedness, my own space under a vacant sky


© 10.13.2017 heather brager

Monday, September 11, 2017

time, doors, and nothing.



I haven’t written you a
poem for several weeks,
not because there are no words,
(but lord knows you never listen)
because broken clocks are only
right twice a day, and broken
clocks are always right, twice a day

I spend a lot of time thinking
about doors, and one morning after
another morning, and how
open doors are something
entirely different to those frightened
of lost time, and of the dark, and for those who
long for damp air on their skin under the
moonlight, wasted time is terror, personified

these doors often lead to secret
passageways, perhaps only
I can see the doors with steadfast locks,
with keys that are not really missing
and you, you are everywhere, standing
in each doorway with your own key hanging
around your neck a delicate noose, around your
neck a clear escape, because an open door 
is just a broken clock



© 9.11.2017 heather brager

Thursday, July 27, 2017

every step echoes.


she will not speak of 
clemency, the remnants of 
your intentions have 
clearly cut scars along 
blue veins in her hands

your poems still sneak 
through the stillness, late 
into the evening, pages
of your handwriting beg
for love, or some relief

with your shirt pressed 
damp against her 
back, she will see you 
standing, waiting for 
joy to swallow, or cleanse time


© 7.26.2017 heather brager

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

the only thing to fear.



"Offer them what they secretly want and they of course immediately become panic-stricken." Jack Kerouac 

I once thought that I
would love every man
I ever loved,
carry his DNA in
my molecules, his words
would gently fold into
the recesses of my
grey matter, imprints of his
hands on my skin like
footprints abandoned in
dried clay, though
I did not account
for wild-eyed fear, that which
drew the lips back to
show his teeth, the
agony of injury that leached
rapidly from his every
pore, the echoes of
desertion rumbling through
vacant space between
our intentions


© 7.12.2017 heather brager


Zdzisław Beksiński.



Thursday, June 29, 2017

take a bow.



perhaps I should not admit how
many times I read the words you 
doled out like cookies 
to a family dog: 

here, sit while I neglect 
your adoration, stay while I repeat the 
patterns that have worn grooves 
in my brain, come to me, come
to me while I dangle affection like 
a delicacy you will never 
place in your hands, let alone between
your soft lips

and there is truth, whether it finds you 
sulking in a corner, or
hunts you down within the 
chapters of a book, because
truth finds us all, in the end

I will never be the monsters who 
abandoned you, I will never be the 
scornful wasp that stung when 
you were convinced that you were trying, 
and I will never be the loving 
woman who brings you coffee and a pastry 
while you sleep late on a Saturday morning,
no matter how hard I long to be 

this story is not really about you
these words are about my willingness to lie 
in the dirt and wait for permission 
to leave, the urgency I feel to restore 
beauty to broken things, the desire 
I use to weld pieces of cold metal together to 
construct a pair of loving arms 
that don’t push me away