Tina Mozelle Braziel

Sunday, Now Our Day


Of crepes and dancing to WWOZ.

Of sunlight breaking

through and hummingbird squabbles.

The mimosas are good,

not too much OJ. The dancing is better

for making me dizzy with love.

How our home perches on this ridge,

a draft could lift us

into turning like turkey vultures.

They are beautiful from afar

and like Skeksis up close.

Still I admire them.

How one at the Corvid Center

wanted to untie my laces,

how I could see through

the nostrils of her beak.

One day, wind will whistle

through them again.






Because okra tastes

like crossing a bridge

and cherry tomatoes taste

like the sun settling

into the Gulf, I’m making you lunch,

the one I had yesterday.

So the past is today

and lunch is just ahead.

Smell them roasting

in the oven oiled and salted.

Rice boiling on the stove.

Savor this coming together.




Without Varnish

I feign interest in shellac—

the poly or linseed oil—

      that hardware men swear

will keep a cedar’s heart true

to the red-purple revealed

      by a saw’s quick teeth.


Like trying another angle

or a different lens to take

      a sunset’s picture, nothing

really captures that color

or keeps it from fading.

      I know. I’ve tried.

To avoid seeming rude,

I don’t tell them


      it’s better held like the toads

my husband sometimes brings me.

His hands are a small home

      that he opens into mine.

I feel the toad’s silk throat

billow against my palm.

      When I part fingers to let her go,

I catch the copper of her eyes.

Tina Mozelle Braziel is the author of Known by Salt (Anhinga Press), winner of the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry, and Rooted by Thirst (Porkbelly Press). She has been awarded an Alabama State Council on the Arts fellowship, an artist residency at Hot Springs National Park, and a Eco Poetry Fellowship from the Magic City Poetry Festival.  She directs the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop for high school students at UAB. She and her husband, novelist James Braziel, live and write in a glass cabin that they are building by hand in Blount County. They are currently writing a memoir about building their home.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for these ... they were just what I needed to read tonight <3


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