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Heaven for the disbeliever is a night of uninterrupted sleep 
no need to pee or roll off an achy hip, no longer being
pursued by my former husband from dream location
to dream location where I may still love him as he flirts 
with some young gymnast in her sparkling leotard

Swept from the real angst of having lost my checkbook
and one day my eyesight, I’ve grown to trust in breath,
imagine the smell of basil even if it’s not in front of me.
How the mind simulates a remembrance, calls it reality

Like now, eyes closed, I imagine inhaling mint or 
tuber roses from Gabe’s wedding or the intoxicating 
smell of fresh pumped gas. I can walk my town’s 
summer-swollen sidewalk and suddenly rain and
there it is, the smell of hot pavement mixed with ocean air

How I love this body, this mind I will be so sad to lose one day
but that’s a story, as my friend might say. I am here 
whatever its meaning, pick-axed, cracked open, the rock-egg 
where magic lives. Remember how the largest uncut diamond 
was found? Another story. Not mine, and yet, isn’t it everyone’s?


Francesca Brenner grew up in NYC’s Greenwich Village and on The Cape in Massachusetts. She currently lives in Los Angeles though her heart remains bicoastal. Her poetry has appeared in After the Pause, The Alembic, The Best of the Poetry Salon, Common Ground Review, Crack the Spine, Cutthroat, FRE&D, OxMag, Sanskrit, Slab, Talking River and Writing In A Woman’s Voice.

© 2021, Francesca Brenner

2 comments on “Heaven for the Disbeliever, by Francesca Brenner

  1. Love your piece Francesca


  2. Francesca Brenner says:

    Dear OneEyeOpen, I’m so glad you enjoyed and thank you for the comment. My apologies for the late response. PS your handle is a poem unto itself.


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