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Retain This Copy for Your Records, a poem by Michelle Brooks

Retain This Copy for Your Records
by Michelle Brooks

I am a room after everyone has left.
Emptied out, you are free to imagine
anything could happen. There’s a song
playing, the sound so faint that you
can’t tell where it’s coming from
and the vending machines offer all
the candies you remember from childhood –
Fifth Avenue Bars, Milky Ways, Whatchamacallits.
In front of all this proffered sweetness, you
wonder if this is what dying feels like. You
buy a candy bar, sit down on the floor, and surrender
to the ghosts because it’s all that you can think to do.

Michelle Brooks has published a collection of poetry, Make Yourself Small,  (Backwaters Press), and a novella, Dead Girl, Live Boy, (Storylandia Press). She says she spent a summer in Gary with a now ex-boyfriend. She says she loves Gary, even as the boyfriend did not fare as well. A native Texan, she has spent much of her adult life in Detroit.