Brett Hanley is a Poetry Editor for Southeast Review. She holds an MFA from McNeese State and is a PhD candidate at Florida State. Their work is forthcoming or has recently been published in Gulf Coast, Redivider, Ninth Letter, Puerto del Sol, THE BOILER, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. She has received support from The Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and American Poetry Journal recently published their debut chapbook, Defeat the Rest.
I’ve loved myself silly loved myself
tame loved myself to death (nearly)
loved myself into spirit loved
myself out of a situation
loved myself out of my five senses
gourmandized and loved love
after my own fashion loved down
all the unkindness loved down
a dutchman loved him to his bed
loved the land out of quiet invited her
to love by loving first loved to the general
joy of the whole table loved my estates
away loved the landlord out of both
his English and French wine
loved the sun up loved it down
loved last – I was the public fool –
I’ve loved cool and brisk
loved as flat as Port gone to a party
and had 365 hogsheads of love one
for every day of the year loved
without a cup loved up all
seeing there is but a little left
You, Temporary Balm to My Endless Suffering
I adore the you in poems, genderless beloved.
The you implies the queer, implies they.
You are covered in soap when the apartment
shuts off the water to screw with us.
I will help you towel most of it off.
You will come to the ER and sit beside
me and my palpitations. In your story,
you can’t recall the name of the dog
who was missing a leg but could speed
like the wind. You and I will adopt a dog
that reminds you of that dog,
name them Brutus. Your mother
used to tell you to go outside and play
your make-believe games so she
could light a cigarette in the kitchen
and smoke in utter silence. Your voice
was too loud, the school librarian said.
One more warning and you’d have to sit
in the hall while the rest of the class
was in the library. One more warning,
and I’ll pin you to the mint in the garden.
That’s not mint. Don’t eat it, you warn me,
but I’m pretty sure it is. You and I play
the make-believe game. We’re horse trainers,
and other times we’re burglars, and you always
let me have the first say in who we are.