The Last Sister

By Tracy DeBrincat

This is the trouble with visiting the past:
you are not invited.

The past prefers to be left alone, knitting
sweaters from cobwebs, stitching proverbs
into pillows, using words that mean
nothing except to the past.

Take this red velvet pillow: a first kiss,
your nose smothered in lips and spit.
Or this button-down cushion: being drunk,
wishing you could roll up your tongue.

This crystal bowl filled with peppermint eyes
that watched at the window while you went away.
The past has nothing to say to you,
Yet you cannot stay away from its room,

where the scissors are always sharp, constantly
reminding you to forget your umbrella
in the upcoming thunderstorm that will be your future.
Better to follow your own footprints into the golden unknown —

that unsettled puzzle which keeps changing your shape
as it compliments your bendy ability, your open
relationship with gravity, your knockout lackadaisical style,
the way you close people off as though they were books.

Let me introduce you to the no-trouble way:
Look ahead. Be afraid. Stand up straight.

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About Tracy DeBrincat

Tracy DeBrincat is the author of the new story collection, Troglodyte, which was awarded the 2012 Elixir Prize and will be published in January 2014, and the prize-winning novel Hollywood Buckaroo (Black Lawrence Press/2012). Her short stories and poetry have appeared in journals from Another Chicago Magazine to Zyzzyva. She also authors the blog Bigfoot Lives! & Other Literary Adventures. San Francisco is her hometown, but she loves living in Los Angeles, where she is a freelance creative advertising consultant.


  1. Posted May 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Love your poetry! So much sensory details, metaphors taking the past toward the future is exhilarating. The constant reference to not living in the past and the ending of getting out of one’s comfort zone to take part in the future is a wonderful read. Thanks

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