The Duck

O, my therapist, wants me to talk about anything other than work
So I describe the photo’s silvering: its fingered edges,
Feathered. Describe the city, a porous pond, the floating duck.

O insists it’s just projection, a protective coat and marks my missives
Generic, or worse—tedious. When I say that everyone who tries
To read me misses the point, this is what I mean. My mother was alive.

I press the couch cushion into another dampened isthmus—
One fewer bird—denting the shell with both thumbs. The cracked window
Is a recurrent cuticle, with a delicate net screen. Looking out, I wonder why

Stop to admire a stoic sky? I want to forget her palm, the counting.
O chides the camera back into the darkroom of my pocket.
& I hear her cry out, fly.

LM Brimmer is an artist & educator living on Dakota land in Minneapolis, MN. Co-editor of the anthology Queer Voices: Poetry, Prose and Pride (MNHS Press 2019), their writing has appeared in The Alliance of Adoption Studies and Culture Journal, La Raza Comíca, Impossible Archetype, Gasher Journal, and elsewhere. A 2022 poet-in-residence with Writing The Land, a project of Nature Culture, they attend the low-residency MFA program at Randolph College.

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