Two poems by Brandi George and Michael Barach

acm brandi george
[Le Bal Mabille], New York Public Library 

Love Letter 16. Ring of Fifths

Circle the sky like a buzzard, arc
great suns and potholes with sharpening
dives. I found you, my fiery wound,
all nerve-purple and lava ambrosia,
ecstatic blood-fugue among the free
bugs. A orb weaver’s mythic cobweb
fixes us dry in two cocoons, our bailiff
gaunt in his celestial cell, flinging
doughy first light on the shed,
amoebas springing from ash, abracadabra.
Empty are the dancehall, the synagogue.
Blessings radiating from the bimah’s womb
flay their crystal sperm tails. Proof
admits itself into mitochondria
eleven dimensions away from a black hole.
Better to sweeten my mouth like a syllabub,
fanatical priestess of the tongue, stiff
cantor. In your foot sole’s systemic
glory, crowned with toes, my being
dumbstruck I accept as one must accept an end.
Eat, drink, sing, spin in circles! It’s me,
bonsai in the glass! I’m lost, won’t snub
feathered things, won’t reject the belief
cymbals cling to as their havoc
gadflies the cynical. Doubt is a bitter gag
disfiguring the gaping mouth of a dryad.

Love Letter 18. Words Are Wind in Shut Spaces

If all the hostage bus stop touches
gathered into hot orange haze
above these scandalizing houses,
you and I’d ascend like prayers
muttered beside an unmarked grave.
Nematodes, roots, carbon, dirt—
I’m here in this bowling shirt
and you‘re in blue electric panties.
Let’s make our mouths the church
where I whispered Bloody Mary.
Brandi George’s first collection of poetry, Gog (Black Lawrence Press 2015) won the gold medal in the 2015 Florida Book Awards, and her second book, Faun (Plays Inverse, forthcoming 2019), is a play in verse. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Fence, The Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, Columbia Poetry Review, Ninth Letter, and Forklift, Ohio.
Michael Barach earned a Ph.D. from Florida State University and an MFA from UC, Irvine, and is the co-editor of poetry of Juked. His poems have appeared in such journals as Meridian, Cincinnati Review, and River Styx. He teaches English at Florida Southwestern State College.