The 2River View 21.1 (Fall 2016)

Michelle Brooks

The City of God

Do not look behind you.
You cannot sing the songs
of Zion in a foreign land.
Do not tell anyone of what
you used to be. I once heard
a rumor of a girl who kept
her used sanitary napkins
in a dresser drawer, preservation
instinct gone awry. Cast into
the future, I wonder about her,
what happened to all that dried blood.


My mother always made burning
bushes for parties, thin deli
meat with cream cheese frozen
and then cut into circles.  If God
spoke from these appetizers what would
he say to the gathered faithful, the guests
attempting to find solace in Wild Turkey
and Blue Nun? As a child I passed around
the offerings until the plate was empty,
like a desert before the promised land.

Michelle Brooks is the author of Make Yourself Small (Backwaters Press) and a novella, Dead Girl, Live Boy (Storylandia Press). Her photography has been published in Arabesques, Straightforward Poetry Review, and elsewhere. A native Texan, Brooks has spent much of her adult life in Detroit, Michigan. contact

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