Poets

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Sarah Browning

Sarah Browning is the author of Killing Summer (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). She is cofounder and executive director of Split This Rock and an associate fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. She lives in Washington, DC.

Sarah Browning
Photo credit: Nikki Brugnoli Whipkey

By This Poet

1

Praisesong

At the coffee shop you love,
white mugs heavy on the table
between us, young baristas—
spiky haired and impatient—
cannot imagine how two people
so old to them can feel so wanton,
coffee growing cold between us,
middle-aged bodies growing hot
under the other’s gaze. Even now,
apart, you send me songs so I may
listen to love from the golden throat
of a saxophone, piano keys playing
jazz across my soft belly.
How is it the tide of terror
has quit rising in me, or rises
and recedes as tides do, bringing
sea glass worked smooth
and lovely by the sheer fact
of time, bringing trash—
plastic mesh and old sneakers—
useless things now we might
bag up and remove, bringing
a lapping tongue of water up
over our toes as we hold hands
and walk along its edge—
carefully, gleefully, both.