Two Poems by S. Brook Corfman

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy


The child is opaque,
but here is an expression

of pain, as language shifts
from description

to wish. Wish told no.
For A, the emotion

is constant, new language
a new way to ask

the same thing of her listener.
For B, do different words

come from different emotions?
The child is opaque.

B might be trying
to get what is wanted

a different way, or B might have decided
he wanted something else.

When one is on the cusp,
has a wishing well

or a first star seen
each bright night,

and the cusp wanes. The child
is opaque and soon lost

even to the child.
Even to the child

no longer a child.
But if I am still young, the fear

or the wish—
it rises to meet what scrim

of threat, that a changing form
changes not, outwardly, at all—


I can feel myself saying, I used to want         to be a girl—

long years of brackets         close again in lines.
Fault from rock         split space into which a sad animal,
plush, was placed.

It opens. It does not end there.

Only beauty still moves me         a dead man writes. The wrong path, or is it,

that in such forms I hope to find         a through line, a past
no longer past. It is not         that I want to be afraid, but I am.

I face my back to the door         find myself
pulled forward         as the exiting force.

Where will what wind carry me         when I say it:

I have been lying to myself again.

Let one word go         even as another does not suggest itself.

Photo of S. Brook Corfman

Photo of S. Brook Corfman

S. Brook Corfman is a poet who writes plays, living in a turret in Pittsburgh. This Lambda Literary Fellow's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Conjunctions, DIAGRAM, Ghost Proposal, Gigantic Sequins, and Quarterly West, among other places. @sbrookcorfman