Michael H. Brownstein

Michael H. Brownstein

Michael H. Brownstein’s work has appeared in American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, After Hours, poetrysuperhighway.com and others. He has nine poetry chapbooks including A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004) and The Possibility of Sky and Hell (White Knuckle Press, 2013). His book, A Slipknot Into Somewhere Else: A Poet’s Journey To The Borderlands Of Dementia, was recently published by Cholla Needles Press (2018).


Knots of grass, blue flame and lavender—
lilies of the Nile and a borderline of sage:

a garden of sand, stone and Zen solitude,
a beach surrounded by a mosaic of rock,
sea grass Posidonia, and a blur of shells:

Everywhere a swamp of color and sea,
gulls and more gulls, and in the near distant,
a pair of shearwaters and one large cormorant,
the quiet of wind shaded by hints of blue.


You warm her head against your chest,
her hair a comfortable home,
her breath your breath,
her skin your skin,
and your hands slip to the small of her back,
Your hug her hug.

Curdle me into your cottage cheese cuddle.
Let the Maestro wind blow across us.
Color me day break and brilliance lit.
Sleep dissipates into the glory of flags, white sand
and a great calm of salt water
as if the sea of life harvested this touch,
not dry skin, but moist,
not hard skin, but easy,
not sharp and angular, but strong and curved

as if the cigarette you gave up long ago
remained in your hand all of this time
and you have the ability
to take one long drag
filling in all of the spaces
within the pages this sea’s coloring book
bright with shades of blue and soft green…

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Poetry in this post: © Michael H. Brownstein
Published with the permission of Michael H. Brownstein