You could have a big dipper   

to drink is to drown and other wet season notes by Emory Brinson






It has been raining in my hometown for 14 weeks

We stalk the muddy grasslands

Always wet and wild: half feral

Crush bruised peaches; suck on battered pits,

Even that taste has been watered down. Wilted


I watch you wring a snake's neck and snatch a doll from the current,

Cinch the beast’s skin around your wrist and burn the plastic child:

Offering of innocence. We tie artificial hair around our fingers

And dip our toes in the toxic sludge. No use for vows or diamonds


The moon slivers and balloons, refuses to provide anything else

We pack into the upstairs bathroom like sardines

Knees and elbows and shadows banging into fish tank clamor

A tornado warning quivers through us one by one


It has been raining in my hometown for 17 weeks

We drink anything but water

Lemon juice and piss poor beer and spit from someone else’s mouth

This wet season I make it a point to trace I love you in the constant condensation

To say it again and again as each new deluge wipes the slate clean


The power flickers in and out and we grow accustomed to darkness

To find you in the black, to drag your sopping corpse from

The half-inch of water on the kitchen floor

That is my act of true devotion


The wet seeps into each crack and crevice of the house

A leak of epic and tsunamic proportions

The body, just one more broken promise/downed levy, is inescapable I drink. I douse. I drown.


It has been raining in my hometown for 20 weeks

And the rescue crews have finally begun to emerge

They come at night, waterbugs and boats following the current to

where you are most vulnerable; You have to let us in to rescue you!

I take my chances


You fade into TV static and silence and sour breath

What else is there to say?

I mark my own piecemeal remains with pond sludge

Climb to the last dry spot and watch a flame catch, burn out

Hurricane season when it is least expected. Drowning on dry land.



Emory Brinson is at Brown University studying literary arts and policy. She has been recognized by Scholastic and the National YoungArts Foundation. Recently she was a finalist for the Passages North Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cargoes, VULCANALIA '21, and The Apiary Magazine. @brinson_emory


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