Toti O’Brien

Toti O’Brien is the Italian Accordionist with the Irish Last Name. She was born in Rome then moved to Los Angeles, where she makes a living as a self-employed artist, performing musician and professional dancer. Her work has most recently appeared in Culture Cult, Remembered Arts, Cloud Women, and Dr. Eckleburg.



I dream dreams small like crumbs
crushed by footsteps of giants.
Your gloved hand on the wheel
you say dare. I hesitate
fingers crumpling my parachute
like a funeral gown scenting camphor
like an emperor cape lined with lead.

Just beware, you say, of grass
growing in the cracks of concrete
shallow like broken promises.
Careful of where you land.
Grass sprouting among stones
is fake like bleached dentures
shedding treacherous smiles.

I look down. My lips flutter
like a withered rose.
Soon I’ll be grains of dust
tramped by herds of stampede
fleeing the fury of blond emperors.
My bones will become chalk
my blood a taste of salt, evanescing.
Dewdrops will lick my outline.

© 2019 Toti O’Brien