My daughter rests her head on my chest while I read to her little brother at bedtime

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Brian A. Salmons is a welcomed, emerging voice in the rich territory of Florida poets. His ability to grasp and then relax into the ineffable moments of daily experience with family life, city life and interior life is astonishing. Selected by Susan Lilley.


“My daughter rests her head on my chest while I read to her little brother at bedtime”


Does it matter that the dialogue

Is facile? Your brother likes it

And we are together, paced ahead

of anger. Blazes lowered in inhabited truce.


I read, you follow along and

We hear the ground dissolving

Far below, the cavity growing,

Hastening to guzzle rain straight from the cloud.


We’re all tired. On the next page—

Another bedtime story. A far-off

Thunder insists slowly. Elongates

Everything. His eyelids fall gently as feathers.


I look down into your eyes. You look up

And smile. The hole swallowing us

Stops, lays down its arms quiet and

Massive as oak roots, and observes our treaty.



Brian A. Salmons grew up in Maitland and has called Downtown Orlando home for 13 years. His poetry appears or is forthcoming in “Eyedrum Periodically,” “NonBinary Review,” “Ekphrastic Review” and others, and he hosts @BrianAndTheNight, a poetry podcast on Facebook.


Susan Lilley is Orlando’s Poet Laureate and the author of “Venus in Retrograde,” forthcoming from Burrow Press in April 2019.

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