the art

by Brendan Walsh

is a ghost that you won’t outrun.
no, a beast. matted fur and fangs.
you can only feed it. and it eats
the things you love most. the days

when you’re nearly free, when you
bike to the beach, full stomach, sun,
pelicans, royal terns busy with nonsense,
it demands tribute, attention. there is not

enough for you to give, but you keep
giving. when you’re tired, it begs you
rise and wake up and burn out.
it hums and pretends to love you.


Brendan Walsh has lived and taught in South Korea, Laos, and South Florida. His work has recently appeared in Rattle, Glass Poetry, Indianapolis Review, American Literary Review, Baltimore Review, Maine Review, The American Journal of Poetry, and other journals. His latest collection, concussion fragment, winner of the 2020 elsewhere chapbook contest, was released in February 2022. He’s online at

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