Dan Brady

Three Poems

Lullaby for the Waiting

When in space asleep
there is no up or down.

Your breath floats above you,
a mask of carbon dioxide.

The mind forgets
its weightlessness

when waking—
a terror every time—

but the sun rises
every ninety minutes

and it is always
a new day.

Sleep tight,
little astronauts.


Newborn Fact

After the stroke, it was the cardiologist
who told us, not the neurologist
or even the OB GYN, though
we later found out they all agreed.
“Given the risk of recurrence,
you shouldn’t get pregnant again.”
And there it was. A new fact
born into our lives.

We went home with our newborn
and our newborn fact
and let our imagined futures
dissolve like blood clots
soaking in a stream of Heparin,
carried away in pieces,
like the tingling fade
of a trans ischemic attack,
like salt in a wound.

His name was Dr. Christie—
chest hair peaking over his collar,
a wide gap between his front teeth.
Maybe they chose him because,
more than anything, this was a matter
of the heart. Har har. No, it was because
most of his patients have cancer.
He is comfortable telling people
their lives will be much different
than how they wanted them to be.
He knows the way blood moves
through a body, how it changes,
bringing life to limbs and organs,
while dying and replenishing along the way.

And so a subtle re-negotiation began
of all our thoughts, adjusting all our plans,
mourning the loss of what we never had
but dreamt of—not allowed to dream
of that life any longer. We would create
new dreams for ourselves. Simpler dreams—
or more daring ones. This new little fact
had arrived in our lives and now
he was ours to raise up however we saw fit.



I still remember
that seduction starts
as an invitation,
a question asked.
Would you like
to get coffee sometime?
Can I give you a ride home?
How can we spend
more time together?

And I will still follow you
wherever you ask me to go.
Our bodies are different now
but we remember
their electric predecessors,
when we were fantasy
without knowing it.

Time can chip away at love
but not necessarily toward ruin.
It’s a slower erosion
like water on a canyon wall—
ever deeper, ever clearer,
ever more toward
an inner perfection.

I love you now
not for the raw,
wild things we once were
but for all the pieces
left behind and all
that is still to be revealed,
all the questions
we have yet to ask
each other.


Dan Brady is the author of two chapbooks, Fossil Record/Cabin Fever (Flying Guillotine Press, 2014) and Leroy Sequences (Horse Less Press, 2014). Recent poems have appeared in Apt, H_NGM_N, Sink Review, and So & So Magazine. He is the poetry editor of Barrelhouse and lives in Arlington, VA with his wife and two kids. His website: http://www.danbrady.org To read more by this author: Museum Issue