Fall 2011, Volume 11

Poetry by Traci Brimhall

If You Want to Fall in Love Again

Undress by your window with the lights on.
I will sing a ballad about your shoulders

to crickets flicking through the grass.
If you want to fall in love again, mail me

a butcher knife and six baked apples.
Write me a poem that begins: “If you want

to fall in love again, meet me in the mint field
under a black umbrella.” I will bring you

the spur I took from a rooster’s leg when
its fight was over. If it’s love you want,

fall from a plane. Let the ocean catch you.
If it’s forgiveness you want, fall down

the stairs. Let me bind each broken rib,
eat the fruit rotting in your open mouth.




BIO: Traci Brimhall is the author of Our Lady of the Ruins (forthcoming from W.W. Norton), selected by Carolyn Forché for the 2011 Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Rookery (Southern Illinois University Press), winner of the 2009 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Kenyon Review, Slate, Virginia Quarterly Review, New England Review, The Missouri Review, and elsewhere. She was the 2008-09 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and currently teaches at Western Michigan University, where she is a doctoral associate and King/Chávez/Parks Fellow.