The news didn’t relieve us, possibly
drawing along a notch in a hot-pink stick
what was folded in hot batter the other week.
Hours got lighter by exhaust and prevented stain.
We think, we can grow our company.  Cupboards
stuffed with nuts and dates, radix angelicae
safflower and weakened water, shampoo

of egg yolk, sinless blanching toothpaste: to be ready
and always good enough, clean for quickening.
We didn’t use to be religious.  But the round head…
My hands began to bloom, and my feet in shoes,
even with blood thinning up the elevator shaft
and further work for the taxable heart I arranged
weeks for my hall monitor.  Sighted.

Awake in a topography of this new gut, which one
bisects and taps as panels for waiting echo:
thins over the tape, tugs the ring-pulls on each corner,
or solaces a disruptive kid in carbonated
but is never known to pound at home in the kitchen.
We took a little hope from this good conduct;
on wards in isolation the sound muffled is total alien.

But when change ends that hope ends of a different life.
We have managed to get this far without water,
but the vehicle slows and stops in the middle of nowhere
tires overblown like cartoon puffs, macadam broken.
After rushing wind the silence is like nothing:
but after all it is not quiet, the blades and beads
push vocally from the ground and you all continue.

In everything you make by that continuing
I will register and sit back down, and the air will fall on me.
Ready now call in the evac unit.  Transitions from promise
to fiduciary agreements are never easy, but we try
to make things simple, drawbridge over
the Great Dismal Swamp guarded by experts
in flushing out insurgency.  My arm buzzes

as the intruder creeps into the citadel,
I am half-awake in recovery and light as plastic.
I will be able to run again, a literary agent
interring the future pattern when it drops again;
the light is wakeful, not quiet, the front again calm
but those will be some days until I can believe
anything I read without feeling singularly human.

andreabrady is the director of the Archive of the Now (, and with Keston Sutherland runs Barque Press (  Her books of poems include Embrace (Object Permanence, 2005) and Vacation of a Lifetime (Salt, 2001).  A long sequence of materialist history of obscurity and phosphorescence, 'Wildfire', is published on  Andrea's work was recently featured in a special issue of Chicago Review (53.1), and she stumbles into an ars poetica in a new interview with Andrew Duncan at the Argotist.  She teaches Renaissance literature at Queen Mary, University of London.
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