The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2022

All Issues
OCT 2022 Issue



In the waning days
A narrow window

Might lead to
One icy fact

In cahoots with
Rolling thoughts

Tied to a bumper
Given the bloody

Signs of unrest
The poem mentions cold

Mountain of bones
I highlight in green

And drop into a couplet
About assassin’s night


Once bitten twice shy
Means the long odds

Are racked and stowed
Like cords of wood

Following edge to rim
A shorthand for injurious

Speech and a shock
Of hair streaked with silver

Some think “me too”
Reaching back for a stray

Wisp or a sliver
Of explanation

That revives a winter
Scene fallen into ruin

One sleeps the other doesn’t
In the first wash of light


In an effort to blunt
The savage weather
Of his face

You rub the furrows
And grooves until
All that’s left

Is the tight X
Of a mouth the hollow
O in its socket

Tipped off
About pink slips
Already sent

You descend the black
Avenue in a trance
Whose passage means

More when a squall
Sweeps the curb
Suspending in its wake

A heavy curtain
Of sighs


Little birds’ nest
Wrenched from the eave
Falls to pieces, a coda

Most remember
For its blue note
Hanging in the air

Long after it’s played
All end up in a raft
Of days collected

Like rainwater
Cupped in hands
Until we slouch

Against the rough pad
And flat planes
Of the season

Counting the chain
Of shadows
On city walls


Chris Tysh

Poet Chris Tysh’s latest publications are Hotel des Archives: A Trilogy (Station Hill Press, 2018)and Derrida’s In/Voice (BlazeVOX 2020). She holds fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts and The Kresge Foundation, as well as a Murray Jackson Creative Scholar in the Arts Award from Wayne State University where she teaches writing. She is the poetry editor of Three Fold, an independent arts quarterly.


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2022

All Issues