S. K. Brownell


that slick swift stick

of the thing at your clavicle

the depth of the hole a

salve, the emptiness a sleeping

pill you didn’t know you popped,

desire still desirous of something

the thing thing that will route out the nothing

digging out blackheads beneath a microscope.


you push and push and push afraid of failing

the talon grooved with a wood grain, white

like your clavicle if you cleaved

muscles and polished bone until

you realize it’s your other hand

on the end of it,

your other arm

the stronger

muscle and your fear

is no longer of flaw but of force.





S.K. Brownell’s work has won the National Partners of the American Theatre Playwriting Excellence Award, a Sewanee Writers Conference Tennessee Williams Scholarship, and the Solstice Literary Magazine Editor’s Choice Award, and has appeared in or is forthcoming from Great Lakes Review, Solstice Literary Magazine, Crab Fat Magazine, Punt Volat, Decoded: Pride Anthology, and other publications. Stephanie holds an MFA from Boston University, teaches writing at GrubStreet, and creates with Artists Theater of Boston.