Two Poems by Todd Follett

Urania’s Mirror; or, A View of the Heavens


The Bulge of My Breathing

Deformed ribcage, calcified
ridge where bone once
sprung in a spasm. It slipped
out and shuddered back,

the knife of a stranger ending
the life of my great-uncle
in a bar back in ’59;

how the mind hardens.
The ache when I sleep
on it wrong, a pretty girl
accepting my flirtations

with a piece of kale
stuck in her teeth.
My rib before the boxing

match that cracked it, cold
in the shadow of the future;
a friend who would die
a day after asking me

to spare a beer. My shrug,
awkward reply: Sorry man,
we just don’t have enough.


The Other Me

is off walking shelter dogs
like I thought of doing
before my mind spun
in the centrifuge
and I spent hours
listening to shock jock
radio, grimacing. My other

is out there, his smile
relentless like Sam Cooke
Live in Harlem, while I sit here
and sharpen something
that will never dull.

Even as the remains of last night’s
cigarettes wait in my throat,
hiding from the day, he is
doing something honest
and his eyes never tremble.

Last night in the store
as they rung up my heart-
attack food, the clerks
gossiped about the customer
who comes in constantly
and never buys anything.



Todd Follett lives in Easton, MA, and spends his free time writing poems, playing music, and taking photos. His work has appeared in Iron Horse Literary Review, Pleiades, Spoon River Poetry Review, and many other publications.