about the author

Holly Brown is currently getting her MFA in poetry. She lives in Akron, OH, with her clawless, toothless, and meow-less cat. She likes to think that she uses her poetry to create worlds where he would fit right in, that is, by making the seemingly mundane and domestic strange and unsettling.

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On Having Bad Vision, Sea Monkeys, and
Maternal Instincts

Holly Brown

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After the craigslist ad, “Free dead piano. With impeccable karma.”

After I peel back the shed’s flaking paint edges,
only noisemakers are left—everything screams

with lawnmower teeth if left alone for long enough.
But where do sea monkeys go after they die?

They are so terribly quiet and small and I’m left
wondering if that means they were ever really here.

I was a highway convenience store in my past life:
I got off on gasoline until it smoked me.

Oh, how the clapboard siding sighed—
I loved with walls because that’s how

holding happens when you are a building.
I came back with arms and wanting floors

so someday I can be what someone lives to stand on.
Nirvana? Idaho? They’re both states, right?

Please, take a free dead piano with impeccable karma.
If you let its insides hum for you, it can come back as a church organ.

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