The First Man

Sarah Bruenning

Photo by Somben Chea from Pexels.com

He holds in his hand
a photo of me with a giant lollipop—
half-sucked, colors relocated
from the candy to my little mouth and
he tells me it’s his proudest moment.

He complains that I never answer the phone.
Sometimes I call to talk about how work
is going because then I feel like we are the same,
and I tell him that sometimes he doesn’t pick up.
He asks how much I have in savings.
I tell him lots. He brings up my first love
(briefly), sometimes jokes about the second
and asks again if I’m still planning
to marry the third. I tell him probably.

I remember a few months ago, when we were
last together, and he remade his favorite day—
emerging from the shop I didn’t want to go in,
holding a lollipop, massive and colorful,
smiling big as he held it out to me.


Sarah Bruenning is currently pursuing an M.F.A. at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. She also works as an editor/reader for Boulevard, and has one previous poetry publication in Glassworks Magazine.

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