Posts Tagged ‘Brent Fisk’


April 12, 2010 1 comment

by Brent Fisk

The voices have not been silenced
in spite of the constant drip. A nurse asks
about the final game, the last desperate
shot disappearing in the air.

I go to the dark closet of my body,
feel the dream fabric hanging above my head
like a tattered suit. The incision
is a crack of light, a line
where the door to my body won’t close.

When they found Mr. Jenkins
dead on his kitchen floor, he sprawled
there empty-eyed, with a broken
glass in his hand and a mouth open to flies.
Two days of incessant screen door banging
before someone stumbled in with a shout.

I think of a stranger’s hands
slipping inside me. How many times
will a doctor make this cut
before he’s used to this sort of parting,
skin and fat and muscle fiber, hand steady
as the flow of blood?

I will wake in a phantom hour,
eyes aflutter, a strong wind beyond
the window glass, a controlled burn
of pain. My parents climb through the wall
of searing heat, everything wavering
through the eroded night except the trickle-whisper
of conversation, the warmth of hands
curious with love.

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Brent Fisk is a writer from Bowling Green, Kentucky. He has work forthcoming in Minnetonka Review and Rattle and recently published in Autumn Sky Poetry (not to mention more than 200 other journals he was too modest to mention in his submitted bio).

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Mt. Nebo, Arkansas, late August

January 21, 2010 11 comments

by Brent Fisk

There will come a day when the cough won’t fade,
when the shadow on the lung won’t clear.

Now we’re coming home, clipping off the toll booths
one by one. Biopsy results are for Wednesdays, 9 a.m.

Until then you are purely my father buying breakfast
and time, growing drowsy behind the wheel.

Wake up old man and see how the heat blurs the road ahead.
We were lost soon as we crossed on the ferry.

You crave more coffee, another cigarette, ten more
good years of setting up our camper on a concrete pad,

stepping into flip flops on Mt. Nebo and shuffling off
through the acorns and hickories on the way to the public bath.

The hot showers steam the mirror so you don’t see
how ashen you’ve become. Steady on, wobble home

if you can. The daddy-longlegs are flat against the wall.
The mist is burning off over Dardenelle and we take

the switchbacks one by one. All those drop deads
I gave you years ago—I never thought you’d follow through.

Fish out one more pack of Camels, let the cellophane blacken
in the smoking fire. We have interstate to sleep through,

raccoons to rob us blind. So let’s steal one more week of daylight—
dream of winking owls deep in the spruce,

cardinals rising up the thermal mountain, my hand
on your cool shoulder shaking you awake.

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Brent Fisk is a writer from Bowling Green, Kentucky. He has work forthcoming in Minnetonka Review, Autumn Sky Poetry, and Rattle. He tells us that this and the other poem of his that we’ll be publishing in this issue are both over a year old, and kind of fell onto the paper they way they are. Poets get lucky like that from time to time.

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