Molly Brodak


A rope end follows the coil dumbly,
as its phrase. A rope means “several ropes.”

I myself was raised by a piano
I couldn’t play, all levers and metal ropes.
When a man stomped it hummed in a rented way.
So I thought there was only one kind of everything,

one sound per grey mouse, one bundle per harp,
one cord of pine, one branch of creatures
and their boxes. Then I felt frays in a sentence:

the flatness of a hat in a mirror,
scales growing scales, locking
a fish in itself, like a tooth with a nerve.

I grew mom’s hands. I grew doors
and drafts through their cracks.
Everyone was another earth.
And earths are also gates, and gates
always forget. I thought my brain

could always love me. It lost me.
I grew diffused, marbled with black,

attracted to sheds, sham hearts.
I noticed I was crying.
I didn’t come back from anything
I met. I myself was a weapon, so.

Originally from Michigan, Molly Brodak currently lives in Georgia. Her first book, A Little Middle of the Night, won the 2009 Iowa Poetry Prize.

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