Machines are For Leaving

by Michele Battiste
MBpoem Mixdown 1_01

Your brother used up all the drama. Your father
swallowed all the crumbs. My sister used up all
the pity. The bicycle is broken. The turbine

is down. Your mother used up all the reason.
My mother reinvented scorn. The others
failed to thrive waiting for the wreck

to burn. Let’s sleep you say through each
collision nothing toxic nothing that would
risk escape. We could live justly in the ruins.

We could ossify beneath the ash. No one
will relinquish currency. No one cuts
us any slack. We could trace each other’s

torsos, redundant vessels too heavy
to shift. We could leave with nothing just
start walking but I have used up all the grace.

Photo Credit: Tom Sundro Lewis

Michele Battiste is the author of two full-length collections: Ink for an Odd Cartography (2009) and Uprising (2013), both from Black Lawrence Press. She has also written four chapbooks, the most recent of which is Lineage (Binge Press, 2012). Recent work can be found in American Poetry Review, The Awl, SpringGun, and Anti- among other journals. She is taking a break from pursuing a Ph.D. to raise funds for nonprofits undoing corporate evil.

1 Comment
  1. […] Short Stoplight: Machines are for Leaving by Michele Battiste at The Bakery – because you’ll stop for a second and realize something small (or big even) and leave the poem as a slightly changed, maybe even lighter, version of yourself. […]

Comments are closed