In the Air

by Jo Brachman

On the porch, we shake the dead
lightbulb day, hear broken filament
in our voices. You ask, Are you listening to me?
How can I answer—No. My silence orbits
the yard, the circling makes us suffer.
Long ago we pledged an oath: no poisons.
But toxins infest – rashes of you shoulds
settle on the crowded magnolia.
We were younger when we dug that hole,
unaware how large the blueprint of limbs.
Thunder shatters at the roof tin,
shakes through the leaves
all loosened things letting go.
We move through the house closing windows,
meet midway in the narrow hall.
Say it first. Say you love me.

JO BRACHMAN’s work appears or is forthcoming in: Birmingham Poetry Review, Poetry East, The Southern Poetry Anthology by Texas Review Press, Waccamaw Journal, Town Creek Poetry, San Pedro River Review, Tar River Poetry, Moon City Review, Poet Lore, and Cimarron. She attends the low-residency MFA Creative Writing Program at Pacific University in Portland, Oregon, and lives with her husband just outside of Atlanta, Georgia.