Another Elegy [“This is what our dying looks like”]-Jericho Brown

This is what our dying looks like. 

You believe in the sun. I believe 

I can’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 it out, baby. You have 

Only so long left—a man turning 

In his sleep—so I take a picture. 

I 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.


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