In Photographs from Last Year

by Brooke Harries

I’m in a wicker chair in a historic bar
wearing his sunglasses.
He’s in a yard watering
his former landlord’s plants where we housesat.
I kept grabbing the camera to catch us happy enough.
We slept in a teen boy’s room filled with swords.
At the beach café up the block
we talked about how his last girlfriend wrote
in crisis the night before.
He cooked tacos and we each invited a friend.
I set the table and played A Love Supreme
on the record player while we ate.
I always think about what it means to be too quiet.
Later in the week he drank more wine.
I know, he said, you’re too good for me
and slept on the couch.
I went to the teen’s room to sleep
with the big moon outside.
The cats didn’t run away into the heat of night
because of my weeping,
but backed into the hall,
and one peed on my purse.
In the morning he scrubbed it in the sink.
We took a picture on the stairs on the way out.

Brooke Harries work has appeared in Salamander, The Laurel Review, Sixth Finch, Breakwater Review, Tilted House, and elsewhere. She was awarded the Academy of American Poets Harold Taylor Prize, the Dorothy and Donald Strauss Endowed Dissertation & Thesis Fellowship, and the UC Irvine Graduate Award for Excellence in Poetry. She has an MFA from the University of California, Irvine and am currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Southern Mississippi.

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