Pain Packer

I unhooked my elbow today,
pitching pink granite flecked
with maybe amethyst
at an ice dam turning
in the waves, mid-May.

I don’t know much.
Just that twenty-nine days ago
it was fourteen degrees, that
thirty days ago it was thirty-one,
that things change, and here we are.

When you drove away, I ran
after your car. I ran on the ice,
I ran until your taillight filaments

flickered away, down Lakeshore Boulevard,
the way you go to most see the up,
the down, the breathing ice, the rain
that comes, that stays
for months or so, then doesn’t.

I undid my knee, unhinged my toes,
unlashed my shoulders, untied my guts
chasing you. I saw the ice give way to sun,
I saw myself miss every throw until I didn’t,
until I cut a hole in that dam
with the hottest, sharpest, most
amethyst flecked rock I could fling from me,
could release.


Brandon Hansen ran the 800-meter dash in high school. One time, on the home stretch, he had to spit, and he did. It ended up on his shoes. He has a weird dog and a boring fish, but he loves her, and him, and sometimes, he writes.