Jericho Brown

Issue #
February 28, 2015


This is the book of three

Diseases. Close it, and you’re caught

Running from my life, nearer its end now

That you’ve come so far for a man

Sick in his blood, left lung, and mind.

I think of him mornings

I wake panting like a runner after

His best time. He sweats. He stops

Facing what burned. The house

That graced this open lot was

A red brick. Children played there—

Two boys, their father actually

Came home. Mama cooked

As if she had a right to

The fire in her hands, to the bread I ate

Before I saw doctors who help me

Fool you into believing

I do anything other than the human thing.

We breathe until we don’t.

Every last word is contagious.

Previously published in The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014)

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