Leave It All on the Field by Michelle Brooks

Jun 29, 2019 | Bubbler

A man less than a mile from my house
has shut down the highway. He’s standing
on the bridge over which I drive almost
every day, and he’s threatening to jump.
He won’t despite people yelling, Just
jump already
and Kill yourself. The police
close the road that leads to him, fearing
the shouts will push him over the edge.
This won’t end until almost midnight.

I watch the Super Bowl, staring at the semi-
trucks and cars that have been diverted. They
creep past as I eat a bowl of French Onion dip.
The Eagles win, and fans trash the city, so great
their happiness. I’d like to say I don’t understand
any of this, that I don’t know what it’s like to feel
too much or not enough. That I’d never stuffed pain
so deep that it both rots and explodes. I’d like to say
that things like this don’t happen in my neighborhood.

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Michelle Brooks is the author of the poetry collection Make Yourself Small (Backwaters Press) and a novella, Dead Girl, Live Boy (Storylandia). Her work appears in Threepenny Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Iowa Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Natural Bridge, and elsewhere. A native Texan, she has spent much of her adult life in Detroit.