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"Someone I loved died, then someone I loved left me, then this happened where I teach (now on a leave of absence). And I guess I have yet to get over Sylvia Plath's, 'I am a nun now. I have never been so pure.'" Jericho Brown

Another Elegy

To believe in God is to love
What none can see. Let a lover go,

Let him walk out with the good
Spoons or die

Without a signature, and so much
Remains for scrubbing, for a polish

Cleaner than devotion. Tonight,
God is one spot, and you,

You must be one blind nun. You
Wipe, you rub, but love won’t move.

Copyright © 2013 by Jericho Brown . Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on April 9, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2013 by Jericho Brown . Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on April 9, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown

Raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, Jericho Brown won the 2009 American Book Award for his debut collection Please (New Issues, 2008). He is also the author of The New Testament (Copper Canyon Press, 2014), which received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.

by this poet

poem

Aster. Nasturtium. Delphinium. We thought
Fingers in dirt meant it was our dirt, learning
Names in heat, in elements classical
Philosophers said could change us. Star Gazer. 
Foxglove. Summer seemed to bloom against the will
Of the sun, which news reports claimed

poem

Not the palm, not the pear tree
Switch, not the broomstick,
Nor the closet extension
Cord, not his braided belt, but God,
Bless the back of my daddy’s hand
Which, holding nothing tightly
Against me and not wrapped
In leather, eliminated the air
Between itself and my cheek.

poem

 

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