:: Article

One Blood Moon for July & Other Poems

By Erich Brumback.

One Blood Moon for July

Rambutans at the seams, the little
hairs stitching those days together.
Gather on this floor as
it sinks; Swamphouse wedding reception
2013 – (flashes
going off in the kitchen)
halls and grocery aisles, everything made
such linear sense then
and the evening sky above the apartment buildings
swarmed with blackbirds.

Now in this
Polynesia of parking lots
direction is hard to negotiate;
once I found a staircase
inside a supermarket, and climbed until
it led me to a hotel.
Every room was locked, every
pattern on the carpet
and curtains

The room in the abandoned factory that was littered with sleeping bags, the moment before I realized those were abandoned too

Breathless dawn stippled on the drywall like the time
we knocked the nightstand over in our fitful sleep.
I was terrified, the light was calm, the blinds were swaying—
you never woke at all.

Familiar voices drifting through the curtains of photo booths
in darkened malls where mothers call their children all winter.
I wonder how there can be so many people out and why
a room can fill me right up with dread.
We’re almost done she says again, but I’ve made
a bed from a pile of drop ceiling tiles
where I stare up through the gap at night.

Predawn Line

I remember shadows of people
waiting for buses, seen in passing as
we answered the door.
It was raining and our friend
came over after work, brought us
grapefruit and rambutans
on a plate from her restaurant.
We were all so hungry that we kneeled
in the doorway, and ate before
she had even come into the room.

A year later the bus blows past
my window, shakes the front door as
it ghosts through the house; the back door
rattles in turn.

I sleep on the floor when I don’t know what to do.

The room is soft and hot; the traffic lights had
all gone out. Memory
doesn’t serve but surfaces
while the highway whirlpools around:
A sphinx at every on-ramp
the rain for my perplexity
this same repeating landscape.


Erich Brumback cooks various seaweed-focused dishes and listens to the traffic passing at night. His writing has appeared in Small Po[r]tions and Quail Bell Magazine.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Friday, October 23rd, 2015.