Brook Bhagat – Three Poems



Light came the moment
the flame touched the feather,
yellowed with the oil
of her hands.


The Star And The Crop

In the glassy dark of the horse’s eye I can see a naked woman drawing her hair back and fixing it at the nape of her neck. She bows her head, kneels by a small pool, and immerses a copper vessel in the pond. I can’t hear her over the murmurations of the carnival but her lips are moving, chanting in the night of the iris. She stands and lifts the pitcher skyward; heard or not, the words tumble down each eyelash and slip out into the world holding hands, knitting a blanket to soften the sting of the whip.


There Is A Mother Waiting For You, A Kangaroo

You can’t feel it yet, but there is a mother waiting for you, a kangaroo

with glossy black eyes and ears that curl forward at the sound of your voice. She lives in a cave beyond the jungle of your betrayal, your repentance, your forgiveness. Beyond the thorns and the flower of your loneliness, hidden in the desert of words and needles. Beyond the cities that still burn with the riots of your love and the ocean you refuse to remember.

She calls you in the mother tongue you thought you had forgotten

and watches you stumble forward through the shadows. She nods and you sit at her feet. She smells like her body. She holds the truth in her pouch, its amber light flowing through the white fur of her belly. She fondles it, a smile playing on her whiskers; she passes it between bony fingers, padded paws and black claws, palm to palm.

Late as you are, wrong as you are, she has never given up on you, has kept something

warm for you. You are a baby, you are a brat, crying, begging her for a bloody nose; she gives it to you with a cheerful kick and then another for asking, eyes full of the you that you don’t understand. She pulls you close and dulls the pain with the sound of her voice, clicking, chattering, licking you clean, her warm pink tongue flickering soft and steady over your face, your eyes, your hair, your eyes.

You confess, undress. She helps you out of your lies and your jeans, listens

as if it matters because it matters to you

and you curl ever closer

to the light, almost ready

to climb



Author’s Statement on Beauty

Beauty is the gift, the piano in the woods, the way the cat licks his nose when you kiss it; the racket, the dance, the sky undeserved, the fur on the underbelly of nothing.

The closer you get to becoming yourself, the more beauty you see. When I can see the world as it is, I will weep with the beauty and laugh with the beauty and all the imaginary shackles will disappear. One day we will see beauty in everything, and we will become it, melt into it like clouds in the sky undeserved for free.


Brook Bhagat’s nonfiction, poetry, and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in dozens of publications, including Little India, Nowhere Poetry, The Syzygy Poetry Journal, Rat’s Ass Review and A Story in 100 Words, and she is the co-owner and chief editor of She holds a B.A. from Vassar College and an MFA from Lindenwood University and teaches creative writing at Pikes Peak Community College. She has completed a full-length hybrid manuscript and is writing a novel.