with Jonathan Brehm

I’ve got this intuition for the movement of time.

I fold shirts into squares, palms smooth
rising kinks. Fill the closet,
the wardrobe. The chore unlatches hours

from their docks. Soon the windows
darken, the fridge hums.
Beyond the bedroom, Seoul, Miami,

the Sunsphere—everything redshifts.
Expansion is measurable
only in the higher dimensions we can’t feel—

all ultraviolets, aurora borealis,
the capitol building
white as raw glass. I’m sure of

the orbits that brought me to this moment.

  • This poem was written collaboratively with Jonathan Brehm.
  • Jonathan & I were in the same MFA cohort at the University of Tennessee. We wrote this in one of Marilyn Kallet's workshops—I wrote a line, then he wrote a line. We went back & forth until Jonathan said "Good stopping point?" We each took those lines and edited separately, resulting in unique sibling poems.
  • I think this was a successful collaboration because Jonathan's voice was, in a lot of ways, the opposite of mine. I offered the first line, and my instinct would have been to go bigger, take a step back. But Jonathan immediately zoomed in to a much more intimate image. I like this poem because I think the tension between those two voices is on the page and brimming with energy.
  • This poem was first published in The Bosphorus Review of Books.