‘Sunday Brunch’ by Sophie Panzer

Agnes has great-grandchildren.

How’s your love life? Any men
in the picture?

Something pleading
almost desperate
in my grandmother’s ask,
but lies do not flow easily today,
they stick, they sputter
like water from frozen pipes
so I reply,

Not really, I don’t particularly
enjoy their company.

Cue wailing, as if the world
would end

and she doesn’t even know about the girl
whose hair I braid and unbraid during finals,
whose clothes I slide off
every night, and it’s not

that I don’t sometimes dream
of that warm, sticky, flour bag weight,
the seashell pink of tiny fingernails
the petal curl of brand-new toes
the pulse of cottage-cheese brain
in soft skull,
an ugly little alien
all my own.

But these days I prefer to hold
the people I can’t bring home.


SOPHIE PANZER recently completed her BA at McGill University. She was a finalist for the 2017 Quebec Writers’ Federation Literary Prize for Young Writers and her first chapbook, Survive July, is forthcoming from Red Bird Chapbooks. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gingerbread House, Fearsome Critters, Pulp Literature, the Claremont Review, Soliloquies Anthology, Blue Marble Review, and carte blanche.

Copyright © 2018 by Sophie Panzer. All rights reserved.