Walking Home in New Spring / Picking Corn with Boys – by JOHN BROWN

 

Walking Home in New Spring *

 

Today, like that day

in our first April, the sun low,

your hand new on the small

of my back, we were caught

 

in a torrent of rain. It hit

harder than planned

when we balked at clouds,

ignored their black, the burden

 

of wet in their bowing bellies.

We ran like we did that day.

A quarter-mile to your house, sprinting

hip-tight, kicking up the wet in swaths

 

from our heels. That day in April we hung

our clothes to dry in the bath,

let jeans drip a room away, the heaviness

gone by morning in a drain swig our eyes missed.

 

But today we slogged

arm’s-length, wind searing,

screaming through the space.

You wrung your shorts off the side

 

of the porch while I longed

to feel water lift from my skin,

for a warmth in new dryness—

 

for an us we left in the storm.


 

Picking Corn with Boys

 

I wanted to give

you a weightlessness

with corn silk in your hands,

the way those leaves slice

dizzying thwacks on your chest

and arms, the whiteness

of young kernels

under newest daylight.

 

With your fist formed

over my shirt collar

I led you to the center

to be lost in a new

dewed body. Poised

for an ear to shake out

her hair, I tore open

a tight, veined wrap,

and you leapt at the sight

of the something inside.

 

I picture your face

as you jumped back

through a wall of stalks:

scrunched in maybe

disappointment, disgust,

or fear—nothing

of magic to find

hundreds of mites

crawling blind

in fresh sun, starved

and burrowing deep

in the folds of the leaves.


***

190

John Mark Brown is a queer poet from Southern Illinois, a senior creative writing student at Eastern Illinois University, and a cardigan enthusiast. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the Indiana Review (Online), Yellow Chair Review, Indiana Voice Journal, and Rat’s Ass Review, among others. He can be found embarrassing himself on Twitter @johnbrownie13.

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