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.