The Brooklyn Rail

MARCH 2022

All Issues
MARCH 2022 Issue


It’s nice to finish a sentence.

For a while today, I wasn’t sure if I was awake. I snapped my fingers, pinched myself,
made sure I knew where I was. Checked the street signs. No use. I felt like I was
watching what I was seeing. I kept walking near the highway, watching the cars. There
was nowhere to sit down. A store was by the highway that only sold different sizes of
metal pipes. People were walking away from the store carrying these big long metal
pipes. I circled back three times to watch people carrying pipes. I like to watch people
and the space they occupy. How they are where they are. The last time I circled, a man
sitting on a stoop said to his phone “hold on” and then told me “don’t look so sad!”
Because I felt like I wasn’t where I was, I watched the pipes. Then I ate pizza.

I can see Mars

I’m pretty sure
it’s Mars

I can see it
a red star

a planet

It’s still there!

For days
not a plane

three days
at least

not moving.
Mars is there.

It’s really

I’ve been
watching it

that red
dot is Mars

for days
it stays.

I hear
other people

talk about it


My birthday
comes and goes

I care more
than I should

I was overdue
at birth

came off

Will mars
still be there

with its red

in the sky?
That dot.

I must remember
look for mars

on my birthday
Will I see

a red

in the

What if I’m
the only alien

on the planet?
What if

I’m really
from mars?

The last

at my

former planet
missing home


She’s cool

She waves thank you
to the garbage bin


Sarah Anne Wallen

Sarah Anne Wallen is the author of Don’t Drink Poison (United Artists, 2015) and The Craft (Everybody Press, 2021). She co-edits Poems By Sunday and publishes books of poetry as Third Floor Apartment Press. Her work has appeared most recently in The Recluse, Elderly, Fell Swoop, Puppycat and Hurricane Review.


The Brooklyn Rail

MARCH 2022

All Issues