The Works of Michelle Brooks
Michelle Brooks has published a collection of poetry, Make Yourself Small, (Backwaters Press), and a novella, Dead Girl, Live Boy, (Storylandia Press). A native Texan, she has spent much of her adult life in Detroit, her favorite city.
All Poems © Michelle Brooks
A friend tells me he is not
himself these days. I pause
and think about how I longed
to be someone else for years –
composed and poised, someone
who didn’t always have to a hair
out of place, someone who knew
the secrets of the world. And I
think of a girl named Movanna
who told me that she’d do anything
to be beautiful like me. Her last
name was Lack. She’s dead now.
And I’m still myself. Strange.
Do you think our lives would be
different if we were the kind
of people who took dance lessons?
you ask as we pass a storefront
with the words Enchantment
Ballroom etched above the awning
Illustrated with a clip art of a woman
and man locked in an embrace. Were
the clip art couple married or merely
bound together by circumstance? I
tell him, I guess we’ll never know.
The Beach Boys sing Surfin’ USA
as my dad blows up a raft so my
sister and I can take turns standing
on it in the pool until we lose balance.
My dad, more handsome than any
Beach Boy, pulled me out of this pool
when I was three. Fully clothed, lit
cigarette dangling from his mouth, he
dove and arose out of the water to never
smoke again. In this Polaroid memory,
he never fades. It’s summer, you see,
and the light stays for so long that
everyone can go surfing, and you forget
that even the longest days fade into night.