The librarian by Brandy McKenzie

Brandy McKenzie's poem "The Librarian"

God, these libraries of stories and expectations:

there’s a reason they’re dusty.  God,

the librarian        suggesting a volume

or two   like some pinup fetish tease

I’ll give you a hint, then silence

All of our hungers reduced to this:

a taste  a polished finger raised and tracing

the promise of full lips   What more

could we want from this, our searching

lives?     Stacks and stacks of oaths

slick-backed and ordered             God, why won’t you

let me talk a little             why can’t I

work through my desires?           But only keywords

my friend            abstractions and impenetrable

jargon   only these broken terms              and the mystery

of an official key               God, I do love a library

a list of synonyms            the forced tightness

of my tongue     God, I do love the flash

of your thigh & the lacy limits of those tawdry

nylons   God, I do want a true page

so I may love you fully   so I may speak your name


Brandy McKenzie has published poems in more than three dozen literary magazines, been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and worked on the editorial boards of three different nationally distributed literary magazines. These days, she mostly works as a paralegal, teaches critical thinking and writing to community college students, and tries to provoke conversation about the alternate history she’s sure we’re entering like some sort of waking dream.

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