Poetry: Becoming Singular & CHOPIN’S HEART I

O'BrienRead More: A brief interview with Daniel O’Brien

Becoming Singular

I drove to the water’s edge—     peeled at the leftover albedo 
of a fruit I’d been eating. I had the same dream again: 
I am drinking wine with Dionysus, you are 
putting glasses back in the cupboard.
Out the kitchen window my pills start falling
from the scripted sky & land in the center 
of the lake. In the depths
of the water: a gloved hand stripping itself 
of its glove. There are so many things I am not. 
On the shoreline where I last saw you,
you dumped what was left of the bottles. I couldn’t feel a thing—
my skin was badly weathered & full of glass. 
Dionysus tells me again of the story where a man’s body dips, 
dead-heavy, into the lanternless waves. How you left me
alone in the water, knowing full-well I would drown.


Chopin’s Heart I

My mother wants me buried
in the family plot. My sister:
preemptive residentvoice
lost before she could say 
what to do with her body. I wonder
when our family decided to bury,
not burn. I think of Chopin’s body
in Parisian ground, estranged 
from his heart. He, too, did not believe […]

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Daniel O’Brien’s work has previously appeared in, or is waiting in the wings of, BLOOM, The Boiler, Gandy Dancer, and the Susquehanna Review. His work was also named honorable mention for the 2013 Red Hen Press Poetry Award. O’Brien is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at The Ohio State University.