Fan Death


from Grotesques


I turn the fan on night-times, so

I remember how to breathe while

sleeping, and so never

wake up dead. They think babies might

do this, they call it SIDS. Another country,

across the world, believes the same act

will fell their population, call it

fan death. Somewhere else they lock

cats out of bedrooms so they don’t

suck up souls lost in slumber. In a shack in Florida,

a young girl has her own habit: curl up

in a corner, pull the cotton sheet above

her head, and count her father’s footsteps

on her fingers, hoping that tonight

they fade into the hall. She hasn’t put together

that his steps form bassbeats in her more

twist-inducing dreams, that a nightmare is

two hard-soled shoes dropping closer

while in her sheets she turns. Most times

the sound’s not in her head, but a positive:

some nights, it is. Just a recording below her subconscious

beating background in her sleep.

Those nights she squirms, but she rests.




Any Body


from Grotesques


Close your eyes & any

body’s any other body, un-

light-marked: flesh warm in

the dark yields, tentative,

unsure. All skins brush the same,

raise undistinguished goosebumps

through the night. No one tells you who

you are as you drift by the crowd. One

hand graces someone’s back,

the other one a moth paused on some familiar shoulder,

owner indifferent, name unknown.




Zeno’s Paradox


(where destinations can’t be reached)

from Grotesques


The only way to suffer sadness is by

stretching onionskin elastic over

hipbones, shrinking down. I

will whittle to perfection,

thin as a whippet, as

a curling, snake-

like whip.






E. H. Brogan is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a B.A. in English. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Scissors & Spackle, Corvus, and others. Recently, she won a Brew Haha Short Story Writing Contest for memoir. This summer she is joining Kenning, a literary journal, as a blogger & community outreach. She is also a moderator for an online community of over 200 poets.


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