Danielle Brignola

Danielle Brignola switched from an English major to a Russian studies major under the delusion that she would one day read Dostoevsky in the original Russian. Now a senior at SUNY Albany, she has neither the drive nor the ability to fulfill that goal, and through the genius of Moby Dick she discovered that the English language has a few gems of its own.







a man is known by the company he
keeps avoiding.
i must remain mechanical until the summer
or i will crumble into a pile of ashes at his feet;
his nonchalant sigh blows me around and away.
and i already feel so scattered.



old age is a ripened fruit
full in ever cell, swollen with
sweet experience.

ripe fruit is short lived: rotting
inevitable follows.



the sky awoke suddenly. and then she did as well, under the protection of an orange warmth above her home. when her eyes abruptly opened, she became aware of every cell in her body; the bend of each hair on her head. motionless, she lay in the position of sleep, hesitant to begin a day of motion.

eternally aware of the soft grinding of the dark toast between her teeth, the great gulping sounds of a body accepting breakfast. the routine began.

she felt the weight of her body on the very bottoms of the feet and she spoke softly to them- “thank you”- and walked out the door, pulling the chilly doorknob behind her, awkwardly.

she counted the garbage on the lawns as she ambled through the neighborhood, heading to the main streets. an old bottle would keep her interested though she walked without pause. who left that behind? has any other person ever questioned that bottle there? she concentrated on its forlorn fate, laying on the dew grass, its label faded and torn. she feared that unless she remembered its intricacies, it would cease to exist. dutifully, she kept it alive.



We meet and we talk but ultimately our souls can not touch each other, so we must discover how to send our selves to receive the other another way. Through our bodies? With tasting the creamy skin, feeling the warmth transferring, mixing the two containers of our selves? Or maybe through words, they rise from within, flowing uniformly off the tongue, swirling into clouds around our heads, our bodies,. Gently tipping over their own speech, coexisting, leaning on one another. How do we reach the souls? How can they unite? Only through their expressions in other forms, and then only when these vicariously mingle. I love the soul most when I look at your sleeping face. Your even breathing. My fingers meekly exploring your arm, your face. I claim you then, as you sleep. There we lay, two beings beneath organic weight, sprawled on sheets, seen from heaven’s high view. Even at a distance its clear enough to see my face, turned towards your own.