Michelle Brooks

We Deliver the World

It’s nearing the shortest day
of the year, the light the color
of amber, and my life feels like
an adult dragging me along as I  
struggle to keep up, worse for wear.
Images flicker around me, promising
things will be different this time.
I hesitate before the window in this
cold ICU room, stare at the flower
shop across the street and notice
clouds forming in the distance. A man
down the hall screams, Is it my time?
Are you going to take me now, Jesus?
while Tom Cruise saves the world
on the small screen, noise intended
to mask the beeping of machines.
The flower shop sign says, We Deliver
the World! which I assume contains
this room where I wait for nothing good
to happen because that’s all left to do.

Michelle Brooks has published her work in Alaska Quarterly Review, Gargoyle, Threepenny Review, and elsewhere. She has published a collection of poetry, Make Yourself Small (Backwaters Press) and a novella, Dead Girl, Live Boy (Storylandia Press). Her latest collections of poetry, Pretty in A Hard Way (Finishing Line Press) and The Pretend Life (Atmosphere Press) were published in 2019. 

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