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The Courier

by Brook Bhagat

There is a message in the bottle. I could tell you


How the foreign language label showed

a woman in a corset, winking, faded red

ringlets singing to her shoulders


How its cork smelled of sandalwood,

even through the soil, even after the knawing

of night creatures on the edges


How I found it with the shovel after

the thaw, trying again to rip out the roots

of the elm who would break the foundation


How I took off my gloves to rub it clean and

the indigo glass let in just enough light

to see the paper, curled in the silence inside


But it will be better to open it yourself.

About the Author

Brook Bhagat’s poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and humor have appeared in Monkeybicycle, Empty Mirror Magazine, Rat's Ass Review, and other journals and anthologies. She is a founding editor of Blue Planet Journal, and she is the 2020 winner of A Story in 100 Words’ nature writing contest. She holds an MFA from Lindenwood University, is an assistant professor of English at a community college, and is writing a novel. Her poetry collection, Only Flying, is due out Nov. 16, 2021 from Unsolicited Press. See more at or reach her on Twitter at @BrookBhagat.

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