Two Poems

by Tina Mozelle Braziel

I’ve Learned

with frogs, a kiss risks a prince.
Galant, for sure. But so ga-ga
for ribboned ringlets and lace
flounces that a girl changes,
arranging herself like a tray.

A lizard, though, doesn’t ask
for nothing. Another species?
Three thousand times his size?
Wear a dress so tight I look
like a can of busted biscuits?
He pushes-up, flares his throat.

And for that
knee-taut, hip-sure, belly-slack,
nude-without-nakedness ease,
I say, hey babe, fuck me.
Make me that undone.


Fadeaway Girl

It’s not a question of what kind of person flies and what kind of person fades….the
question is… Who do you want to be, the person you hope to be, or the person you fear
you actually are?

–John Hodgman

More than bluegill and their rising scent,
more than oak leaves drifting or mirrored,

a lake holds sky: blue blending to blue,
clouds billowing among the ripples.

So swimming is how a girl
has it both ways: secret and soaring,

swayed by a sinuous sky
that veils as much as it wombs.

Tina Mozelle Braziel, winner of the 2017 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry, directs the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her book, Known by Salt, will be published by Anhinga Press in 2019. She and her husband, novelist James Braziel, live and write in a glass cabin that they are building by hand on Hydrangea Ridge.

Artwork by: Diane G. Martin

Diane G. Martin, Russian literature specialist, Willamette University graduate, has published work in numerous literary journals including New London Writers, Vine Leaves Literary Review, Poetry Circle, Open: Journal of Arts and Letters,  Examined Life, Wordgathering, Dodging the Rain, Antiphon, Dark Ink, Gyroscope, Poor Yorick, and RhinoConclave, Slipstream, Stonecoast Review.