This thing I wear around me like a talisman is copper from the earth I don’t know why it stains my skin but a healing naked mumbling tribesman will rub shaman ashes into my  wounds while cucumbers settle on my lids and warm eggs in the air pool like small white pills reconstructing a sweat lodge meditating body and knife blades part cells of thin skins while the medicinal value of broccoli calcium olive oil and silver coins I stole from the old man watching the pizza-maker twirling golden dough into leafy green crusts while walking through the goat cheese bazaar with chest lumps while I’m on the way to the dentist dancers thumping in dust their nude buttery feet drawing life through straws from a thickened vessel racing room to room wax on wax separating off your melting and porous spine trying to find the clue bombarded by small radiant bullets and rhinoceros horn shark fin yoga light against the bone amidst cries of the pouring of liquids syrups elixirs milk of nuts and hanging fruit sultry wine the anti-oxidants corrective cleansing goldenseal grounding my existence warding off the slow creeping pressing diving thin hollow needles and the mushrooms dried in hot air and dead vegetable matter playa mud sucking pores soft touch of my hand an icy salve a song in the dark and rough memories alive and you wanting every spice every action every soothing voice the comfort of aboriginal fire a thin line of vaccinating friendship the thick repeating muscle of another.

by Brad Garber


Brad has degrees in biology, chemistry and law. He writes, paints, draws, photographs, hunts for mushrooms and snakes, and runs around naked in the Great Northwest. Since 1991, he has published poetry, essays and weird stuff in such publications as Edge Literary Journal, Pure Slush, On the Rusk Literary Journal, Sugar Mule, Third Wednesday, Barrow Street, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Barzakh Magazine, Five:2:One, Ginosko Journal, Vine Leaves Press, Riverfeet Press, Smoky Blue Literary Magazine, Aji Magazine and other quality publications. 2013 & 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee.

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