Christa Fairbrother

Coach Neurologist

You set the board, a field of alternating black and white
squares. Multi-level, like Star Trek, to consider time, space,
all dimensions. Bolt to the boundary of the table, stay in the
lines, ignore the teeth menacing at the edges of my field of
vision. Shift to the rook, you circle, gaze down with one eye
before you turn to use the other, dive when I spy. Castle to
protect my kingdom. The knight jousts through, upending
everything, and we start again.

Count backward, repeat the words in order, follow your
finger. I breeze through the brackets, even win in the final
seconds of the game, crowd on the edge of their seats, but
still leave defeated.


Photo of a woman in front of a pale beige or off-white wall. The woman is slightly off-centre, smiling and looking off to the right. Her long hair is pulled back in a ponytail.

Christa Fairbrother, MA, is a Florida-based Pushcart Prize nominated author living with chronic illnesses. Her poetry has appeared in DMQ Review, Medical Literary Messenger, Stoneboat, The London Reader, and Unbroken, among others. She’s also wrote the multiple award-winning book Water Yoga (Singing Dragon, 2022). She’s been a resident with the Sundress Academy for the Arts, and her chapbook was a finalist for the Kari Ann Flickinger Memorial Prize. Connect with her: or @christafairbrotherwrites on IG.

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