Three Poems

by Bria Metzger

Illustration by Halle Krieger

published November 9, 2018


here we collide

Worry me at the tail edge of torn seams,

Locked into conversation with the neighbors again


About the man who met the telephone pole

And lived. Heels sink into flattened grass and we

Trawl the mud shores of memory:


If you heard the frail shout of shattered glass

Or felt splintered wood curl into bones

And fall asleep.


Fray me cautious, a collector of fine fragments,

Holding plastic between fingers like a burnt-out cigarette,

The spark


Flashing like a widow’s candlelit window finally

Going dark, knowing

Just a breath could gust anyone out.


He was asleep when oil billowed behind him,

A trial separation of codependent parts,

The art of letting go learned in the bitter pause before

The ground breaks:


What spaces there are, that we

Have never touched.


the pool was not turned off


for star magnolias make / no ripple when  

they let their / petals drop and I

have ever stirred / the water

gently now / summer storms tremble

and send / a shiver through

open breezes / shuttered gates grown

cold from lack of / working hands


no one / will keep the rain / outside

if it longs to warp the wood grain

no one / prepares for the weather.


the ritual leaving / storm-drawn

stars brushed back morning

pools  / to rainwater / too soon.



body castaways like leaves

spinning under the surface tension / spiders

walk on air / grey-thin as a sliver moon cuts

a smile where they hang

eyes eight / jewels upon / the night

sleeps restless.


cold hands


Wait by the windowsill until

settled dust turns sunset-rosy as those

chapped lips December cold.


Pick an apple from the bough, a host

of sweetness for your

tongue alone


            split arsenic seeds

like lace

           golden pale, the other

shutters. You insist on keeping cold




only what’s heavy, live with eyes

closed by sleep


                         and blackout curtains

spit the seeds from between your teeth —

This is freedom, freedom, and

The cathexis of cold hands.