By Bob Brussack

Halfway between the car and the back gate
On one of those antiseptically sharp December nights
When the air huddles, silent,
It occurs to me that the stars,
Were they capable of it,
Might find bemusement
In the tales we retell ourselves
With each new season of dark and cold and snow
To keep at bay the bittersweet truths
We pretend we don’t know.


Of all the billions of frames of my life,
Why does the projectionist
Rerun for me so often, unbidden and unpredictably,
A five-second clip, without sound or voice-over,
Of me at eight-or-so,
In the late afternoon of a school day in the spring,
Aboard my red two-wheeler —
Not fire-engine red, but not as dark as burgundy —
With a perfect chrome headlight,
Gliding down the gentle slope of Willets Drive
Past our house,
A breeze on my face and hands,
My soul suspended a few feet above the world?

A-Train Passing

By Bob Brussack

The A-Train slides silently
Across the frame,
A monochrome blur.
A young woman
Stands on the platform.
Isn’t she too close?
Her dress should rustle,
Shouldn’t it?
I imagine her breath
Lightly fogging
The passing windows.
She is looking down,
Into the pages of her book,

Let’s Be Honest

By Bob Brussack

Let’s be honest.
Let’s be leprechauns
Or unicorns
Or the man in the moon.
Let’s crack the sternum
And transect the honesty sac
And send the contents
To pathology for revelation.
Let’s hold our breath
And dive beyond knowing
Into the authentic dark
And throw a tow line
Around honesty
And winch it to the surface.
Let’s be honest
About the only thing
We can be honest about.