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what’s past is prologue

by Brynn Dizack

your delicate hand is in mine, and,
you’re right, i am

you smell like warm honey, and sweetgrass,
and folded wings.

how i love the little lies we’ve passed back and forth.
chocolate ice cream. i touch your hand.
i’ve touched your hand a hundred times,
in a hundred ways that are not
like this.
what’s orderly is intoxicating, i

how romantic each object seems on the beach,
until we carry one home, and look at it under the artificial lighting
we live by. sticks and stones
become cumbersome, at best. value is relative.
context governs without benevolence.

the only way is forward, we say to each other.
as if we didn’t know the sun would set on that day.
as if we didn’t know that breaking our silence
meant breaking our hearts.

why is the measure of time in endings?
how clearly i see our burgeoning, now that it’s over. how
exquisitely each moment was shaped, how
concretely quantifiable, each past perfect, each point of contact,
now that we know the sum of the parts.

before any ending, are we not infinite?
before any ending, isn’t every moment packed with potential,
begging the breath from our throats,
thick with expectation,
the way black paint reads as blue before it dries(?) after all,
the darkness has to come from somewhere.

& now, when i sleep, my dreams beat against skylids
like a thousand pigeons.
what is dirty, loathsome, but can still soar?
pigeons were doves, until we called them otherwise.
until we built a feculent empire of expectation around them, and
then grew disdainful when they survived.

will you turn your sweet face from me?
does this prick the well of your long-held grief?
of course the swing doesn’t suddenly freeze in midair once you’ve jumped.
there is an aftermath to gravity.
weightlessness always collects the toll of landing,
one way or another.


i, too, will let the soot settle on my feathers,
if it means surviving with you.


Author's Note: EK/KN

Posted on 09/09/2019
Copyright © 2022 Brynn Dizack

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