A poem by John Mark Brown


Remind me again: I am the young

of Adam and the likeness of Eve. I knew her

lust to touch the red of his skin,

the hurry to cover her sex with mud, leaves,

the boom of a Father angry for her to be.

There are the things that shouldn’t feel

like law—the red in fathers’ faces bubbling

up past the burn where sun sits;

mother’s racing whisper through hymns

and psalms and curses and qualms.

And then there are the things that shouldn’t

feel like the wrong in the world—

the parting of thigh hairs,

erect amongst goosebumps;

the lower leather half of a man’s face

scratching at your shoulder.

Maybe Eve hid from God in rows of mud maize,

heard the whisper of snake and the thrashing of thighs

from her brawny rib-giver.

He made her those fingers and she put them to use

lying on her back under domed wet leaf.

John Mark Brown is a queer poet from Southern Illinois, a senior creative writing student at Eastern Illinois University, and a cardigan enthusiast. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Indiana Review Online, Yellow Chair Review, Rat’s Ass Review, and Indiana Voice Journal, among others.

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