“Cocktail Hour” by Michael Brosnan

Michael Brosnan


Measuring out gin in squat glasses,
you ask, “How did I get this way?”
Presumably you’re thinking

about the calamity of small moments,
and the things gravity has done,
given its indomitable patience,

or perhaps you mean the flawed men
you fell for, right up to me,
or the array of pets you’ve loved and lost.

I want to say that you’re a gift to this world—
which is as true as anything. But you’ve already
turned away, cold glass in hand,

to watch red ants, in a rope-thick line,
pour out of the ground and march toward us,
small and determined, ready to take what they can.

from Rattle #50, Winter 2015


Michael Brosnan: “I feel like one of the lucky ones. Years ago, I was walking home from a day of picking apples for meager wages. Passing by the English department at the local university, I got the notion to walk inside, find a writing professor, and ask him what I need to do to be a writer. To my amazement, he opened the door for a dirty, hungry kid in need of a shower and a mentor. I’m still writing in gratitude. I’m still amazed.”

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