Today's poem is by Jericho Brown

The Gulf
                       —Galveston Beach 2005

Seaweed chokes the sand
We won't have children

My lover's arms around me
      Natural like the falling sun

      What once burned
Clings to my feet.

Salt inches
      Closer, salt stains the sea

      Something brown about it
The blood of those

      Flung overboard
      The word ancestors

The word ancestors in another poem

      To say the Gulf of Mexico is the Dead Sea
Today the Gulf of Mexico is the Red Sea

Its waves a siren of song
      Beware the dark

      Sand, the skin of my father
Will my lover look in his face

And call me his baby
      Kiss my black back

      Or cut me open with a switchblade
The red, the Gulf, the sea

A song our mothers sang
      Arms around us natural as

My falling soul

      One mother jumped
      One threw us in

Copyright © 2009 Jericho Brown All rights reserved
from Please
Western Michigan University
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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