I cannot play the instrument of lamentation,
it’s impossible to tune
                                                                                     —Laynie Browne

What blankness may not secure soft detours may attain
if this farce does not recede there still remains the
discourse of doors, moors, fires, stars oars, cures
Even emperors are only men we want to enter. Centers
quite intractable. The empress expressed herself in dissent
tried to extract herself but was first straddled, then swallowed
Mentor of consent sent misrepresentations, anon polyphonic
driving clothes around. Backdrops disappear in silenced bodies
On which paper would you write to your idol?
Shoulders pressed without a word
The night is dark and we in it secret, a first song
I cannot sway the dissonance of initiation, irreconcilable moon

The sunlight has lit silver quivers on the rosemary—
it has so many aromatic fates


Give up youth inside partnered electric ledges
We prepare for our death in certain documents
In order to not think about it we live in a book
on a page, in our work, in other faux fantasies
Or do we go as beggars, masking the most ornate
sadness— until we suddenly saw time as a chrysalis
Like the change of mood the midwife described
before transition.  How can you tell I’m not close
—No one had examined me
more afraid than clever
I came here to inhabit the emptiness I rely on
A blank room with tall ceilings and moldings, a chandelier-fireplace
Midnight slit mirrors on the wary—so many cinematic gates

laynie browne.jpg

Laynie Browne’s recent books are You Envelop Me (Omnidawn, 2017) and PRACTICE (SplitLevel, 2015). Honors include the National Poetry Series Award, the Contemporary Poetry Series Award, a Pew Fellowship and MacDowell Colony residencies. Her work has been translated into French, Spanish, Catalan and Chinese. She teaches at University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore College.

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2017