Robert Brakeman

why can’t your god be my god

I haven’t felt god since I was a young boy
riding no hands down a hill

I remember my own nocturnal energy
and not being afraid of the dark

I remember diving for dimes
in the cool waters of the farmington river

and lying on warm rocks along its banks
forgetting where my shoes are

            I wish you had known me then

these days are filled with a twitching anxiety
about what I’ve done and what I might do next

I took ecstasy and thought god kissed me on the mouth
I swore I heard her say I’d always know love

then I saw a blackbird fly from a whore’s mouth
and understood the whore I had become

I awoke on a dirty mattress in someone’s house
wearing nothing but underwear and boots

you were never like this, trading days of pain
for the firecracker bang of too many firing synapses

most days are a mindless roar, some are a question
why can’t your god be my god

            where are you now I wonder

on a mountaintop stretching your arms out wide
sunlight splintering through spread fingers

I’m dracula at sunrise curling tight into a corner
sunlight threatening to set me on fire

Robert Brakeman lives in Monroe CT and is a graduate of Northfield Mount Hermon School and Gettysburg College. Much of his poetry focuses on traumas and events, typically fueled by alcoholism and drug abuse, that have unfolded in his life or in the lives of those nearest him. He has a poem published in Passengers Journal and one forthcoming in The Bangalore Review. Robert can be reached at