“Elegy” by Jericho Brown

By

Elegy

This is what your dying looks like.
You believe in the sun.  You believe
I don’t love you.  Always be closing,
Said our favorite professor before
He let the gun go off in his mouth.
I turned 29 the way any man turns
In his sleep, unaware of the earth
Moving beneath him, its plates in
Their places, a dated disagreement.
Let’s fight about it, baby.  You have
Only so long left.  A man turns
In his sleep, so I take a picture.
He won’t look at it, of course.  It’s
His bad side, his Mr. Hyde, the hole
In a husband’s head, the O
Of his wife’s mouth.  Every night,
I take a pill.  Miss one, and I’m gone.
Miss two, and we’re through.  Hotels
Bore me, unless I get a mountain view,
A room in which my cell won’t work,
And there’s nothing to do but see
The sun go down into the ground
That cradles us as any coffin can.

Jericho Brown

Read the Rumpus Review of Jericho Brown’s first book, Please.


Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →