Three Poems

By Ina Brix

For All That I Can't Remember

In time, you became my mother,

My father, and I, your 

Unnatural-born heir.

Your eyes shined like red-lit

Cigarettes in the dark.

You took my no for surrender.

For all that I don't remember,

I can't forget this.

I retrace my steps.

Your eyes burned into me,

Making memory, making me

Believe for years

That I could not be worthy.

Absent-minded fool

That I am.

I live on in your reckless husk.

All that you ever wanted, and

Your greatest disappointment.

I should have told you,

Although I didn't know then:

I don't surrender to anything

Except creation. You made me

By adopting me, and 

I adopted your sins.

For all that I don't remember—

If you were alive, 

You'd give me a list—

I shine with what I've been given,

But it also does me in.

I am yours, plucked from the gutter—

A queer motherfucker.

I can't forget this.

Brewer's Blackbird

Preening feathers to clean. Black, 

Sleek sheen of purple and green—

His own bold colors an oil slick.

Subtle, regal. Owner of the scene.

Male of the species. His yellow eye

Stares at me, handsome and pale.

Like my grandfather's, and oh, I

Can see why my grandmother fell

So in love, so fast. He too strutted.

Looked dangerous. “We'll have to

Marry soon. You're testing my virginity!”

Yes, she actually said that at 18. 1940.

They married and his number came up,

Drafted by the Army. WWII tested

Them both. My grandfather, shot—

Shot through the face and almost died.

Pale eye startling, skin slack on one side.

My grandmother, her eyes red every day.

A baby. After the war, thank God, another

On the way. My father. Same eyes. I also

Have that color. At the moment, I match

Here eye to eye with Brewer's Blackbird,

Pale yellow that some call piercing green.

This bird, what of his female offspring?

Females, also medium in size, but plain, 

Brown, and thin. Darkest on wings and tail. 

With a dark eye, although some have pale.

Are these female birds inwardly like me?

Ungendered, inside neither male nor female—

Pale yellow eye an outward sign, a signal.

Rear View

You harvest muscles

Beneath fertile soil

Of your firm flesh.

Their names, Latin,

Like those of plants.

Their rhythm, Latin,

Like this music.

Deltoid, trapezius,


You tango, lift

Yourself in silks.

Teres Major,

Teres Minor.

If they danced

On a plate like this,

All children would

Happily eat their


Latissimus Dorsi,

External Oblique.

If they flirted 

Under golden skin

Like this, every 

Snow White would

Gladly sink her teeth

Into poisoned apples.

Gluteus maximus

Gluteus medius

Gluteus minimus.

Round and delicious.

A starred constellation. 

Perfect holy trinity.

About the Author

Ina Brix is the pen name for a writer who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Under the name Ina Brix, you will find poetry published in Chaleur Magazine online and print issues, as well as Carbon Culture Review Online. One of Ina Brix’s short stories is published within an anthology (Bold Strokes Books). She is currently completing a novel.