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Volume 1 | Issue 4 | February 2007 | 

Late Summer by the Canal

Michael Brill

After we made love,
in the ruddy glow
of late afternoon,
you wanted to walk
down to the canal
and kiss on the weir
by the lock-tender's house
just in time for the evening
shadows to envelop us
through the trees
'mid the last red sun rays.

Though my right knee complained
along the way,
events unfolded just so.
Ambling back we were greeted
by a couple probably our age.
Enjoy the last day of summer?
I thought summer ended two days ago.
No, it's today.

we never seem to know
the exact end of summer
maybe it's today.
let's enjoy...


Luminous Reflection

That candle flame's enough at night
to lose a key and find it
but casts a shadow in the sun—
a greater light behind it.
The shadow gutters low
and blocks the words I read and write,
so better now I use the day
and snuff the lesser light.


A Visit Upstairs

I'm back in the attic
of my parents' big old rambling house,
ready twenty years later
to reclaim untold boxes of stuff
rightfully mine.
My first impression:
a barracks of little old ladies,
a corner of one of my boxes
peeking tattered around a drawn curtain.

Between me and my birthright,
a small religious meeting,
led by younger folk.
The reverend orates to all:
"Let's get down on our knees
and pledge our lives to merciful almighty God."

To wait out this siege respectfully
I am ready to kneel but not to pray.
But a stern-faced stringy harridan rails at me:
"Get down on your knees
and pledge your life to merciful almighty God!"

My standing folded-arm reply:
"I do not agree with God just now."

A susurrus of male voices
arises from the depths of the house
discussing the depths of benefit
from a firm stance in faith.
Men awaken on the floor before me.
"Where are we?" they ask groggily.
"Whose attic is this?"

"It is my attic," I say quietly
in voice enough to cleave the sky.
Then I too awaken.









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