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

Enchantment Ballroom


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.

Endless Summer


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.