Michael Brosnan


Birds have feathered wings to fold.
I, this piece of paper.

Folding it is the most satisfying thing
I can think to do this cold morning.

Align the edges. Thumb smooth the creases.
Palm out the wrinkles.

It hardly resembles a bird. I know.
But it’s the folding I’m after — aiming

for some form of practice.
Patiently mollifying impatience.

I fold dough and laundry to feed
and feel a small wave of contentment.

I fold letters of greeting in a wish
to break the lure of loneliness.

I’ve laid down many a luckless poker hand
in both defeat and doubt, and once,

dispirited, I folded my arms when
I knew for sure my long-misdirecting faith

had flamed out and needed to be stowed
so I could see the world fresh and clear.

Today, I’m seeking new possibilities
in a small illusion with unambiguous lines.

Look, world, look.
Our story is in tatters.

Here’s a “dove” for you to hold.
I give it in peace. Make it fly.

Concluding Unscientific Postscript

“I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either do this or that.”
Søren Kierkegaard

The mystic tide runs
both in and out, or out and in —

depending on where you enter
the story of time.

A marriage begins, a marriage ends.
A brother thrives, then dies.

People who welcomed you for years
turn away with a sudden mind-shift.

A job is gained, a job is lost.
Pain surfaces, grips, fades.

The ideal shatters into a thousand
pointless shards.

We sweep. Or don’t.
The brilliant Earth itself, our star

among stardust, wobbles calmly on
toward assured planetary demise.

You and I, we are here for a spell.
And we need to speak honestly.

We love, we tremble. We tremble,
we loathe. We sketch a heaven and a hell.

Some days we wear the monk’s robe,
some days dance so as not to fall as

flower petals fall. We do what we believe
needs doing. Except when we don’t.

We bore. We laugh. We slip
into the sleek aura of piety.

We swim for the ocean’s sake,
for the feel of surface and sense of depth,

aiming to keep these bodies
attuned to some kind of equilibrium.

We sip from words that sound like glory,
then rest on eternity’s pouty lip.


always something

in and of

the repeating dark

the chase

daylight’s crazy hunger.

Michael Brosnan is the author of two collections of poetry: The Sovereignty of the Accidental (Harbor Mountain Press, 2018) and Adrift (Grayson Books, 2022). He is also the author of Against the Current, a book on urban education, and serves as senior editor for the website Teaching While White. He lives in Exeter, New Hampshire. More at michaelabrosnan.com.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.