National Poetry Month Day 4: Jericho Brown


The Time Traveler’s Wife Husband

My man never read my poems, but he loved
Fantasy and science fiction. In one novel

He left behind: a boy with a king’s name,

A boy who can’t help but travel through time. Over

And again, his mother dies while he watches,

Age twelve, then thirty-six, but first at five

Naked, each age picks pockets and breaks

Combination locks. Before his heart stopped, my lover
Told me he thought grief too severe

A drug. He’d catch me grit my teeth
Struggling for the right word and beg
That I come to bed. I want to know what

He knew, how he became the wizard I never

Will be. Reading each page, addicted, I ask every single
Night. What I lost, I keep losing.

–Jericho Brown


Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. His first book, Please, won the American Book Award, and his second book, The New Testament, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. He is an associate professor in English and creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta.

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