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Nickole Brown

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Nickole Brown

Nickole Brown is the author of Fanny Says (BOA Editions, 2015). She teaches at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, where she also lives.

by this poet


What people don’t know about my name
is that my grandmother gave me that “k”
                       —my very own unexpected
                       those two strong arms and two strong legs,
that broom-handle spine—
                       that letter about no one with a name

So this is where the last year 
of the Mayan calendar begins—
5,000 birds falling on Beebe, 
Arkansas, a state that could smooth 
out with the sway of the plains 
but instead sputters the silence 
of the first syllable like a pothole 
that hits before you're off the 
on ramp—say it—

Because your generation didn’t wear perfume
           but chose a scent—a signature—every day
                      you spritzed a powerhouse floral with top
                                 notes of lavender and mandarin, a loud
smell one part Doris Day, that girl-next-door