Wednesday Nov 21

KristeneKayeBrown Kristene Kaye Brown is a mental health social worker. She earned her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her poetry and fiction has previously been published, or is forthcoming, in The Cortland Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Harpur Palate, Meridian, upstreet, and others. Kristene lives and works in Kansas City.
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[Affairs]


The body is a fugitive. It will send you
sorrow sure as it will leave you one day,
a beautiful deserter on the lam. We were
good at keeping our secrets weren’t we?
Think of all the private things
that go on in houses we’ll never know.
The houses that is, the feel of a new room.
I sometimes think about that lovely stranger
whose shoulder I laid my head upon
the night I stumbled out of the bar
and down the wrong alley, looking
for you. Love, not even the mountains know
true permanence. Too much time
and distance has gathered, I know. Still,
the sky will never tire of us. It’s called
forgiveness. It’s true, I’m older
and less wise by the day. Wouldn’t you agree,
adulthood looks good until it doesn’t.
There is nothing original about our sin.
I was young then and even now, I’m sorry
to say
            I still don’t know any better.




[The Moon Less Lonely]


Come Summer we will sweat
cherry bourbon long after the heat
has settled
into the house. Someone’s dying
lawn is beyond watering.
When everything burns we must
set fire to the self, the crabgrass
seem to say. So, let’s make matches
of our bodies. This is our moment
of intimacy. Every anonymous sunset
loves us. So much
for sleep. We will pull the mattress
out the window and lay beneath
the stars. There are roads
in the Milky Way. There are faces
in the clouds, bearded smiles
I refuse to kiss. There is a black hole
at the center of our galaxy.
Can you see how the sky swallows
the hours, the days,
one mistake at a time.




[Offering]


To make room of the heart
the left lung is smaller than the right.
It’s called accommodation.
The body knows. I have saved
my impression of a storm for you.
A small stuttering space
in a bigger memory. With my fingers
I will map the wind. Meet me
beneath a downpour.
Wear your sweet face
and I will wear my grief.
Let us watch the clouds oyster lip
against a calmer sky. I’ve always liked
the way branches bend to save the trees.
Did you know my inner thunder
loves you? Watch as I hold the rain
in my hair. It is spring
and the clouds are numb,
as they should be. Mercy is a kind
of forgiveness. Open your hand
and take it.