The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2019

All Issues
NOV 2019 Issue


Please Kiss Me in This Dream

Worry about being loved,
you will be shackled to worry.
Love will remain fugitive, always
on the run from clumsy attempts.
Hit the space bar.
Give yourself some room,
like the crossing guard
who danced an Upper
Eastside day away,
helping traffic
move. Amuse
life’s passersby,
apposite a caveat
staked on the hill-
side of an Isle:

Dogs caught worrying the sheep will be shot!

Allow dusty grains to course
through digits in rows,
discrete. Each event
intact. Two people
weeping the same
year, one in snow,
the other in
a way out
of narrowing.
Many minds
live inside
one. Leapfrog the route
amare toured toward love.

Taotime for A.

She on knees, tilling, dropping
seeds every other, ineptly trying
to grow whole heart from cracked
rudiments in soil,
too blighted by pining.

Pleated cords false
and true bellow, Where’s
he gone?
This is all, what
she can do, sing out while
planting along alone along.

Hears a motor overhead. Looks
up. Above puffed lids, paraffin
oil rolls into exhaust, making letters,
dot by dot. White powdery sky-
writing onto air's imaginary blue

canvas. Her breath held
between her teeth, she sees.
A plane. How
sweet. He hired a plane.
What's he sighing? She recognizes

her shortened name: E. I am here,
hidden in vaporous language
against deceptive cyan.
She knows words and names
arise, fade, arise, fade, arise.

Wait. Wait. Replay thirty-three-
and-a-third. Slow it down.
Sow it so it stays.
"Please, please," has no weight.
Paint the flat plane, gone.


Elena Alexander

Elena Alexander is a poet and writer. Poems or prose appear in, e.g., BOMB, the Brooklyn Rail, Geometry Literary Journal, Hanging Loose, Rattapallax, and as of May, 2019, The Body in Language:An Anthology. Alexander’s poem, “How the Lurking,” was chosen to be made into a public poster (2001). She wrote and edited Footnotes: Six Choreographers Inscribe the Page(Routledge, 1998), and received Honorable Mention, The O. Henry Awards Prize Stories, Best of 1997.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2019

All Issues