Constance Brewer

Doppler Effect


A song came on the radio, one I remember

from when I was in love. It was disconcerting

to feel the feelings of years ago well up fresh

as yesterday. I can picture a humble apartment,

the daily dance of just-marrieds fumbling their


way to companionship. Yet there were days I

longed for my singularity again. There were

nights I stood outside and stared rapt into

inky blackness, transfixed by constellations,

aware of the gentle beat of repeated melodies


from the tape deck. My musical tastes have

changed, maybe in response to the divorce.

I abandoned a whole genre in order to not be

reminded of you. Yet here was the odd song

from the past, determined to track me down.


There is no defense against whims of super-

markets. There among the apples and navel

oranges I stood, head cocked as the familiar

refrain wormed itself into my brain. I partook

of some mental jujitsu and allowed myself to


hum along, accepting the music as I ducked

and threw it over one shoulder into the vast

closet of regrets. I was reminded again life has

constants, here, in a night sky where distant

stars thrum as strong as a long forgotten song.


Blue Norther


You wondered at the things

that changed me, gave voice

to attributes much loftier


than needed, when really, it was

the minutia piled against a soul—

indifferent tumbleweeds


stacked, entangled, repositioned

with each shift of the wind—

caught in the throat of change


as the storm hammered down.

It was the little things,

the ones you shrugged off,


mere ice crystals on an overcoat

melting into nameless dark flecks.

Damp chill brings primitive fear-


reek of blizzard-driven sheep

heaped, defenseless, against

whatever object stopped


forward motion. They die

together, in illusory warmth,

thinking the fence their savior.


Rabbit Holes


Garden walkers gaze through a tangled

hedge of roses hoping for a glimpse of

Wonderland. Rock, rock, rabbit, off he

goes, dodge and dart, a streak on our


peripheral vision, drop of rain caressing

an April windowpane. Oh, to give chase,

to feel the grass unwind beneath fey feet

and spring us forward, fast as a hound,


all mimsy until the rabbit hole. Fling your-

self in after, tumble round, there’s nothing

but doors, each opening into a separate

universe, some with stars, some without.


This is where comets are born and shoved

squalling into space, racing each other to

the future, one where they return home,

laurel-wreathed, discontent, transformed.


Zero Gravity


How egotistical of you

to assume lack of resistance

to your gravitational personality

was the only reason to stick

around, although I admit

at first the push-pull

of our relationship

was an attraction.

Surely you knew free fall

could not go on ad nauseam.

Here I am, dropping

over the horizon

at a constant rate,

hoping against hope

I gain enough speed

to stay up, to reach escape

velocity. That I haven’t, yet,

is no reflection on you,

just the weight

of your self-containment.

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