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Reader Desperately Seeking Poem, a poem by Bethany Brengan

Reader Desperately Seeking Poem


I am looking for a long-term 

fling. I am looking to throw 

you against the silences; I am looking 

to be flung 

into the center of Merriam-Webster,

and to climb my way out,

assay over Titmal.

I am looking for you to start

with a whisper, a rattle, a buzz, a breathy 

death-shake, and then whisk 

me away to a mythic field of lambs

with phosphorus mouths. And after

I have tumbled out of the vehicle, 

lost my way, and been found, filthy and panting,

you must bear me back to the closing 

ratta-tatta-tat, crescendo-ing 

into hot, fluffy blossoms

over the top of a popcorn bowl.

And finish—confusingly, inevitably— 

by flinging all the kernels into the sky,

for misshapen stars, fourth-degree kisses.


In return, I promise

to press flesh against page,

my fingerprints against your lines,

your open spine against my breasts,

the rhythm of my in-and-out 

to the blues of your stillness. . . .

I promise to repeat you to myself, 

slightly misquoting your best sections 

(and to suffer disappointment when I realize

our mistake). I promise to never grasp you too completely

and that in the spring

I will chop you up on index cards

and sow you throughout the city,

proving I am not a jealous lover.

Bethany F. Brengan grew up in Kentucky and attended Indiana Wesleyan University. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her poetry has appeared in Channel, Solum Journal, The 2015 Poet’s Market, and CV2: The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing. She can be found at