Thursday, July 20, 2017
Summer Poetry Pop-Up: Sarah Browning
by Sarah Browning
One month in this apartment and the art
sits, propped against the wall. I prop myself up
with gin and outrage – nothing manageable:
not pictures for the walls, not boxes still
half-filled, not friends, not even the dark oblivion
of the movie theater, the gnaw-gnaw of popcorn.
Too much, too little, this life I do not know,
my child an echo on the phone, a ghost –
my love propped against the wall.
I will always miss his toddler body,
fist wrapped tight in my hair, the raw
comfort we took in one another.
Now, he is 16. On our hike to the river –
as we descend side by side into the tunnel
that will take us this last stretch – he drapes
his long arm across my shoulders. I wrap
my arm around his waist, lean against
his towering frame, and together we head
like this into the darkness, the bright
Potomac promised on the other side.
Sarah Browning is co-founder and Executive Director of Split This Rock: Poetry of Provocation & Witness and an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. Author of two collections of poems, Killing Summer and Whiskey in the Garden of Eden, and co-editor of D.C. Poets Against the War: An Anthology, she is the recipient of artist fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, a Creative Communities Initiative grant, and the People Before Profits Poetry Prize. She has been guest editor or co-edited special issues of Beltway Poetry Quarterly, The Delaware Poetry Review, and POETRY magazine. Since 2006, Browning has co-hosted the Sunday Kind of Love poetry series at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC.