The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2017

All Issues
FEB 2017 Issue



So many love songs contain some
request to hear the speaker’s name
from the beloved. Say my name
when no one is around you. Maybe
it has to do with how easy it is
to forget yourself when no one will
remember you, when scholars won’t
catalogue your library years after your death.

Strange winter night powers
under the money light
of stars and buildings,
casting vibes on the nights
of all the people. I’ll be around
but like a burning sun from before
a forgotten band was forgotten.
Last night of camp, still time
to fall in love. Sunlight in a
basement, name writ in water.








All night long I was thinking of fights
I’ve had with friends, a habit I maintain
to make sure I don’t forgive anyone
too completely. By morning I was asleep
and vengeful, a proud swinging
lightbulb. John went for a walk
and came back with breakfast and
flowers from the Campo de Fiori.
At first I thought that meant Field of Fire,
but actually it only means Field of Flowers.
There’s a statue in the square of the
fifteenth century heretic Bruno
who was hanged on the spot
where they now set up tables
and sell food. I’m never mad
at John, just everyone else. Spring
is coming, then summer, and we’ll go
see the Cyclones at the beach, like a room
to age in. Every morning I wake up,
and it’s another day to take care of my body.
Pack a lunch for it, wash and dress it, worry
about gaining weight, feel ashamed about it.
You can never take a vacation from it, but
you can from work, so that’s good. Tonight
we’ll go down the steps to the Tiber,
walk along, and then slide in quietly.
We’ll swim to the bottom, transformed
into Bernini dolphins. There will be many
rocks and jewels, and to our great surprise,
weird flowers. We’ll come to a Field of Fire,
all the fury of mammals will flow away, we’ll
be immortalized as fountains in a river.








To never work, not even play
covers right, I wonder how
many sinking ships can I repose
on at once? My personality, my art,
my city, the world. That chest collapse
feeling of beauty. People talk about the
immortal life of artists, but I want to know,
first who gets it, and second, what the fuck
good does it do? Devil horns on the beach.
I’ll live in a child building, take the stairs,
smell like the laundromat.








A man on a bridge plays
an acoustic cover of
“Where Is The Love?”
This is it. Carved in stone,
nothing can’t get worse, or
I’ll be overlooking
from a cypress top. Vines
cover everything I touched
on earth. The bells I tolled
the waves I watched in
boredom and awe,
claustrophobic summers.
I would be a bride in a
square, a groove in a record,
and still typically mortal.
Burning heart, stretch it
out. Jump scares work too
brings an LED tear to my eye
little bird, all adults are obstacles.







Laura Henriksen

Laura Henriksen is the author of several chapbooks, including Agata, Canadian Girlfriends, and October Poems.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2017

All Issues