Two Poems

by John Brown


This Was My Favorite Place

on your couch under light

from the television, barraged

in thumb-button sprayed gunfire

while I squinted over Wharton.

Here is where I felt it, said it,

and you said nothing back,

only ripples spoke from your shoulder blades,

a signal of the missing, or the nothing belonged

like four fingers curled

under my ribcage or how eight legs

skitter across your headboard, maypole

around your kitchen drain early the next morning

when you wake to pour your raisin bran,

passing me on the couch where I moved

to escape your midnight tossing,

rocking, unfamiliar sleep-name-dropping—

signals of a wander

we’ll both insist I’ve dreamed.


After Sliding on I-57

 I thought I might kill you when I lost control

behind the wheel, bright with the scream

of light from highbeams behind, and cold

soaring over that hard wet earth. Tears

felt unreal as our lives from within the ditch

that hour, and I felt birds in my ribcage—

not a flutter but a thrash; me begging

your lips for sound. You turn to me,

ice face, eyes stone.


Just drive.


John Mark Brown is a Southern Illinois native, a senior creative writing student at Eastern Illinois University, and a cardigan enthusiast. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Indiana Review Online, Yellow Chair Review, Indiana Voice Journal, and Rat’s Ass Review, among others. They can be found softly screaming on Twitter @johnbrownie13.

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