art by jared barbick
Lynne Bronstein is a poet, a journalist, a fiction writer, a songwriter, and a playwright. She has been published in magazines ranging from Chiron Review, Spectrum, and Lummox, to Playgirl and the newsletter of the U.S. Census Bureau. She’s done four books of poetry and her first real crime story was published in 2017 in the anthology LAst Resort. Her adaptation of Shakespeare’s "As You Like It" was performed at two LA libraries. Recently her story “The Magic Candles” was performed on National Public Radio. She’s been nominated twice each for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net awards.
The Shape Shifter's Holiday
Changing shape is no big deal
If the shape you’re in feels real.
I’m real enough but far from fabulous.
My natural form is quite gelatinous.
In weather hot or weather cool
I live in an abandoned swimming pool.
The world I came from was the worst.
They left me here and left me cursed
That passing strangers vent their passions
And I become what they imagine
I’ve been a monster who sails on a storm.
I’ve been in and out of uniform
As a member of a star-base army corps
And as a tacky space station whore.
I’ve been a furry toy and a shiny toaster,
A train, a boat, and a roller coaster.
Huge as a rhino and small as a bee.
Blast it! What is my identity?
From where I came, I won’t return.
While here, I think there’s much to learn.
My shape won’t be right if it comes from your fears.
Humans, please send me your best ideas.
Help me to end this alienation
And give me what you call vacation.
I want to walk tall amidst your race
And with your leaders take my place.
Your love will shape me in fine array
And our work will feel like a holiday.
Yet I know I must wait. There will be some time
Until human thoughts become sublime.