Brigit Kelly Young

Three Poems

Sixteen in June

we dance
to a one-stringed guitar
a man with no teeth
you tell him your name is
fontaine and he hears
our hips are coins
to wish with
and anyway
your name is sally
and to you I say
let’s stay, Sally, let’s stay
you kicked your heel
to the cobwebs
and you did
til orange
splotched the sky
but not til
like we all thought people
would be
oh you
you said later
oh sweet you
like sweet was bad
like it was spoiled
the taste of drowned pancakes
or canned cream
but I knew
nothing was sweet
in me
and the pebble in my shoe
was really the coins that had fallen
from loftier places

137th Street and Riverside

spanish cyclones the neighborhood
lands in my ear
sweet trills fill my pelvis
my fruit bowl bone

i put my jealous pink cheek
to the window’s screen

the music of boys
tells my eyes
to widen
to be open
no matter
the hour
and the girls dance down beneath
with babies so perfect
my room feels barren
and it is
a poster    two bedposts    tv with handsome faces
the official language
bearing its gums
in germanic screams

i listen harder
ear drums to giggles
to the rising black notes
below this checkered steel

the moon is the only thing here
as pale
as far away
as deaf to the tongues of the new world
as me

Another Year

you loved me brown
and now i wear gray centuries
like silver prayer shawls
and my shoulders bend
like shabbat candles
under saturday’s crying stars
i staple my ears back
dye my face with henna
to remind me
of upright, of red,
of your mattise on the wall.
i am one hundred years old
looking out on
the canary windows
of a blackened city
only a man with no hands
could grasp things
as poorly as this
only a blind man
could see the world as so

Brigit Kelly Young hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan where her father is a Chinese history professor and her mother is a life coach and expert quilt-maker.  She now lives in New York City and studies at City College, City University of New York.  Her work can be read in The North American Review, Drunken Boat Magazine, Opium Magazine (online), 2 River View, Gargoyle Magazine, The Whiskey Dregs, Manhattan-Books, Skive Magazine, and The Pinch, among others.  She is the winner of the James Emmanuel Prize in poetry and was nominated by Drunken Boat for the Million Writer’s Award.

Visit her website at

Read more of her poems at these online journal links –


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