Jericho Brown


I wish you tamed. I wish what you fear—
A night alone in the forest.
A father who leaves you there. I wish you
Were ten years old again. And in love
With Marvin Gaye. I wish you saw his daddy
Shoot him. I wish you asthma. An attack
In the field. A lump in your chest. A doctor
Who won’t touch it. I wish you’d live forever
Afraid of dying. See the circus and be content.
Animals crawling like infants for the men
Who made them. I wish you would
Sniff a man. I wish his whip
Sharper than fangs. I wish you could know
How bite-less I feel, the mouth
I don’t close, his head in my throat.

Jericho Brown
“Lion” is from Please (New Issues, 2008).