fit / fright, by TR Brady – MQR Mixtape

fit / fright, by TR Brady

eyelids tender from rubbing + reaction          become irritated once more 
I drive out to Kalona at night                                 to see the dark 
+ scream + cry after getting off work at the big box store 
When back in Iowa City               I sit in a BK parking lot to listen to university radio 
+ fret from buyer’s           remorse
  
  
 
  
 I buy skin cream to prepare myself 
 
 for the purpose of being a woman 
 
 I apply my chapstick as if primer 
 
 not pretty a fortnight in on my mood 
 
 stabilizer, I hardly know how many miles 
 
 I must drive to see the night 
 
 the real night, vast ]
  
  
  
 last winter I began the sport 
 
 of ice-driving, the potential for danger 
 
 to see Iowa City 
 
 emptily glow w smoke and sodium 
 
 vapor from the river 
 
 the power plant on the river so monstrous 
 
 my first memory of the city 
 
 grayscale I crossed the Burlington bridge 
 
 by foot and tipped my torso over the railing
 
 just enough to feel 
 
 weighty, the rushing of water below 
 
 turning, turning [
  
  
  
 I was driving my car to keep it warm 
 
 in this new cold 
 
 in this new cloud, the world of my breath 
 
 long + gray + spreading 
 
 spent I spun down a long 
 
 hill the amber lights, my shoulders locked 
 
 the thrill [
  
  
  
 on my days off 
 
 on my bright screen 
 
 I adjunct + still 
 
 consider myself new 
 
 to Iowa, my sensibilities not 
 
 yet for this flora I am unsteady 
 
 in my belief in medicine 
 
 in my belief in nature as medicine 
 
 what is said again, of apples? 
 
 Myles asked 
 
 am I the only one with bleeding gums tonight 
 
 I touch my red gums + don’t pull
  
 back + I flinch 
 
 in my misguided magic [
  
  
  
 I pick a psychiatrist who tells me 
 
 I’m bipolar + 
 
 prescribes 40 dollar fish oil + lamictal 
 
 big black box warning looms 
 
 heavy w panic I develop 
 
 double-vision + rash + blood 
 
 shot eyes + a fear of light 
 
 + a first name relationship 
 
 w Jackie the telephone nurse 
 
 I meet in metered 
 
 late one night outside of Mercy
  
  
 EMERGENCY 
 
 HOW COULD I 
 
 EMERGE 
 
 MY DUSTY VEHICLE 
 
 TO THE ROCKY ICE 
 
 TO THE MINT 
 
 + BEIGE INTERIOR 
 
 OF MERCY SO I 
 
 CALL THE COURTESY HOT 
 
 LINE + DETAIL [
  
  
 MY BODY FOR HER NOTES 
 
 my body for her notes 
 
 my body for her notes 
 
 my body for her notes 
 
 my words for Jackie’s 
 
 screen I feel [
 
 
 
 
 my hot face reddening by the hour
 
 
 by the chill of November I fret
 
 
 I have over
 
 
 exaggerated the condition of my skin
 
 
 of my burning eyes, the pain of the glow
 
 
 the waiting room I watch
 
 
 from outside, a big box lit up
 
 
 as if Night-
 
 hawks [
   

TR Brady is a poet and fiber artist based in Iowa City. TR’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Paperbag, Quarterly West, and Copper Nickel. TR holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is the co-founder/co-editor of Afternoon Visitor, a new journal of poetry and hybrid text.

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