Issue > Poetry
Ryan J. Browne

Ryan J. Browne

Ryan J. Browne holds an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Alabama and now lives in Madison, Wisconsin. His work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in The Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Gulf Coast, Spoon River Poetry Review, and elsewhere.

The Boy Whose Nocturne Is His Mother And Her Lover

But it is impossible to remember
it all: lust on the tip,
an octopus arm, strange
comfort in the angle
of an elbow.
A hand gropes
for a knob or a foot
refuses sleep or some horn
happens against the window
as the mother comes
suddenly alive like birds in flight,
and the boy stands still
as if he is the tree from which they flee,
as a blade of light silhouettes
him on the carpet, the bed
skirt, the bed,
as if the boy has been cut out
of the room.
A miracle
our imperfections—
if our bodies
worked flawlessly
we would never forget.

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