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
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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.
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.