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About this Poem 

"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

 

1.
Dear Tom Dent,
We still love you
And what it means
To be a black college
President's son
Whose point of pride
And rebellion look
Like men in the 6th
& 7th Wards.  You
And I knelt before
Them until they
Groaned.  And ain't
That music too

poem
I don’t want to hurt a man, but I like to hear one beg.
Two people touch twice a month in ten hotels, and
We call it long distance. He holds down one coast.
I wander the other like any African American, Africa
With its condition and America with its condition
And black folk born in this nation content to carry
2
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