Things Made of Brass

Image by Liz West/Flickr

Brass frames
with ornate
roses and daisies
surround portraits
until cousins
or old friends
forget the names
and throw away
photos
leaving frames
behind

Brass oxygen regulators
keep my aunt
who has COPD
breathing
without catching
fire

Brass duck’s foot guns
have four barrels
four toes
used to kill
four pirates
one by one
without reloading
between shots

Brass casings
cover the floor
of the firing range
like a shell beach
They fly through
the air like beetles
ricocheting
off the walls of the lanes
Range masters sweep
them up
selling the brass
for reloaded bullets

Brass casings
surrounded by dandelions
after I hear shots
two magazines
unloaded
a night ago
a few blocks away
I know the unlikeliness
of a bullet
shot into the air
killing
my children
a mile away
when it lands
yet I still keep them
from picking dandelions
and collecting twigs
to make nests
for bird puppets
I want to touch their faces
not photographs
of them
in brass frames

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Liz Marlows poems appear or are forthcoming in B O D Y, The Carolina Quarterly, Tipton Poetry Journal, and elsewhere.

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