They Will Sew the Blue Sail

Another Elegy | Jericho Brown

Expect death. In every line,

Death is a metaphor that stands

For nothing, represents itself,

No goods for sale. It enters

Whether or not your house

Is dirty. Whether or not

You are clean, you arrive late

Because you don’t believe

Her when, sobbing as usual,

She calls to say if you don’t stop

Your brother, she will kill him

This time. Why rush? By now,

You think she likes it, his hands

Slapping her seven shades of red.

Besides, your brother is much

Bigger than you—once you tried

Pulling him off the woman he loves

And lost a tooth. Expect to lose

Again as you stand for nothing

Over his body, witness or

Reporter, murderer or kin.