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Michelle Branch at 3:37 AM

Bryan Vale

if i could write honestly and perform justly,
if i could demonstrate my paths and duplicate my vulnerability,
if i could strike the chords of apparent availability,
if i could just breathe,
if i could reconstitute my amber-frozen mind in the form of a feeling,
if i could restructure my slow-pumping heart in the clear light of southern california,
if i could reevaluate my demons and revoke my disavowals of love,
if i could surf the web of time that encloses my spirit,
if i could point out the protocols of legal emotion and define the rules of saintly games,
if i could prophesy the beating heart of a chick flick protagonist,
if i could measure and weigh the curvature of the arc of said protagonist,
if i could deify trinities of tones instead of fury,
if i could proclaim humanity instead of projecting toxicity,
if i could reclaim what could have been past, taking 
         a spirit room in a paper hotel on the way to doing so,
if i could sanctify what is not yet gone,
if i could signify the approaching dawn,

then i could be like Michelle Branch,
tall like a tower, strong like a fence,
crashing like waves onto reality,
recording chords of truth,
a soundtrack, a guidepost, voiceover
for a trailer for a world made new in an eye-blink — 

Bryan Vale is a writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. His fiction and poetry have appeared in several journals, including Quibble, Constellations, All Existing Literary Magazine, and Boats Against the Current. His work has been nominated for "The Best of the Net," and he has read for the memoir journal Five Minutes. Of interest to Y2K fans: he is the creator of Learn more at, or follow Bryan on Twitter and Instagram at @bryanvalewriter.

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