Robert Lee Brewer

Ricardo Fumanal

Cold Water

We spill ourselves all over ourselves—
        our excess light,
                our forgiving natures.

Once, we wandered the creek together
        and forecasted our futures—
                bright and tightly spun.

Of course, we unraveled and marveled
        at our unraveling,
                trying to put a name to it.

When we failed, we created a myth
        and passed it on to our children,
                who reached out so eager to see.

As they departed to who knows what,
        we ached for the creek and our futures
                running across the wet stones,

smooth and round. But when we found
        the water again, we stood at the bank—
                all of us afraid to enter.

Why I Started Writing Poetry

Say every time a woman looked in your direction
people found you sprawled out in a gutter
muttering, love, by god, love. Say the last look
burned down a house and left everyone
running for cover. Say what you want, because
you can re-build that house whenever you want,
and you want and want and want. The blood
soaks into the bread; you can say so. Say
the sky is empty and you just want it full.
Say the end is too close for comfort. Say
it all began with a girl. Say the words just
came and that they just continued to do so.

A Small Tear in the Pillow

When my finger finds a hole, its first impulse is to slide
               through the opening and search
even if by searching my finger risks damaging the hole or
               whatever opens the hole to me
or even my own finger. After all, holes are miracles only
               lasting so long, and if we don’t
search, and if we don’t risk damage to ourselves, to our holes,
               to our things that open the holes,
then we know in the dark holes of our hearts that someone
               or something else surely will.


Faced with a hill, I drew a line
in the sky and said, “Fly
me to the next world, the one
where everyone sees the wolves
circling them in the forest.”
Maybe I should have called
first or at least announced
my presence; maybe I could
have assembled my life
in another order, but that
would’ve made sense, and I
never was one for proofs.

Robert Lee Brewer is the editor of Writer’s Market, Poet’s Market and, in addition to maintaining the Poetic Asides blog. Brewer has published poems in several print and online publications, including Barn Owl Review, Otoliths, and OCHO. He is married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer.