Clockwork Universal

By: Tryn Brown


Time came in circle segments, until
They narrowed, stretching out
Through the arc, nothing
Firm left to break
                                                             or bend.

Celestial mechanics could be the
Only verdict; the season’s dimensions
Honored the swamp behind
Our ears, our lives
                                                             on the line.


Vast intelligence had its point:
These arms were not mine to give.


I wanted too much for a perfect world
                                              A swallow taking flight
Diving down
                              To triumph velocity
For upward movement extracts
                                              A sense of chaos
In chorus
                              Hell as other people
Emerging in lilac bursts from
                                              Your throat. 
Your hands.


You stared at wet ashes on the pavement.
Wish I could burn up like that and still soften by design.
Your admission, unbeknownst to yourself,

That forgiveness is to give completely without reservation
That rest is to be both scorched and drenched
That losing shape is letting yourself in.


Stepping further out on the water
Ocean’s razor held to my breast
From waking time a single shadow
On a thousand floating stills.



say it again.


I fell in love on what had always been March 3rd. Pink hat and corduroy and suddenly I couldn’t tell you apart. Had this poem already been so far away? Beyond farewell-to-spring, all I saw was kaleidoscope, skyline. Colors blurred and came inside me like flies to purple honey. After you left I fleshed the whole thing out because I learned long ago that to give a thing meaning is to take away what makes it alive. Turn it inside out, make wings out of limbs. We danced on graves that were not our own.


Sitting together, compound predicate, two bodies under the same skin.


One night we won’t feel afraid.
Galaxies wrapping themselves
Around the earthly interim as
Our shadows melt into us.
One minute will perturb everything
Will send our bodies crashing
Below the waves and
Peeking through cracks
In the sidewalk. One moment
Will be enough to dance on
The edge of reduction
Or composition
Naked as night sky and
Nectar inside our bones.

Tryn Brown is a marketing and copywriting associate at a publishing company based in Oakland, California. She completed her undergraduate at UC Berkeley, where she earned degrees in English and environmental studies, and she has lived in the Bay Area for six years. This is her first major publication, and she is immensely grateful for the opportunity to be featured amongst so many talented writers.