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Michael Brosnan

Sixth Floor, Alley Window

Ilazki (sister of the moon) by MidJourney AI

After Aunt Alice died, alone among nurses,
we returned to her apartment to shut things down,

gather her fancy kitchenware, some hardcover books,
the worthy art, test drive her liquor once more.

You have a way of laughing at times like this,
because you need to. So I watch you wrap yourself

in her crusty mink stole and shimmy
across the floor through the dust

of New York daylight, coveting her pottery
from Mexico, her knock-off Rodin’s “The Kiss.”

Aligning her shoes bedroom to double-locked door,
we recall how at the end of a night,

safe among friends, she could reach a fine stupor,
her moist eyes slowly measuring distances —

from couch to window to the alley below
and all the places it could no longer lead her.

This is where I’ll die, she told us one night,
years ago, her fingers lightly touching her throat,

another holiday party yawning to its end.
She was wrong, but not far off.


About the writer:
Michael Brosnan is the author of two collections of poetry: The Sovereignty of the Accidental (Harbor Mountain Press, 2018) and ADRIFT (Grayson Books, 2023). His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Rattle, Confrontation, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, Poetry South, and Barrow Street. He is also the author of Against the Current, a book on urban education, and serves as senior editor for the website Teaching While White. More at

Image: Ilazki (Sister of the Moon) by AI MidJourney. Digital image from Basque mythology created by artificial intelligence. 2022. Public domain.

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