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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, April 20, 2017

the ocean starts at the shoreline.

this is you, you seek solace in raw demise
you accost by adjective and verb
burying it under allegations
of beasts for slaughter, fish gasping at the shore
discarded and digging in the dirt for forty
some years for the source
detonation at the helm
wanting, lurking, mining for the simple hope 
to catch a fish

this is you, but hope emerged carrying freshly cut flowers,
sweets, poetry and your blame like ancient talismans
vibrant as butterflies on the cover
pleading to carry you out of the picture,
if only you would release the dead weight
but why fly, when you could sink or swim

this is still you, inside of twenty years or more
bowing to a shrine of solitude that grips and holds
you back from beauty so exquisite
it would kill you the moment you heard the song, a song
vibrating from its tender soul

but who are you, really?
are you hidden within the heart she sent
one of two birds, not beautiful enough to soften
hatred so sharp your hands were crimson
before you even attempted to touch her skin,

because artists love contrast, though
you never pressed your lips to the water stain
in a promise, before you commenced digging

this is you, but fear was not your fault
and hope is a solemn beast for
you are the fisherman, and the fish
casting, gutting, drown by air
and now it is all you have, crimson
abandoned at the shoreline
everything at once, then nothing at all

© 4.20.2017 heather brager

Hans Kanters.