Berfrois

Homeland

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by Jericho Brown

I knew I had jet lag because no one would make love to me.
All the men thought me a vampire. All the women were

Women. In America that year, black people kept dreaming
That the president got shot. Then the president got shot

Breaking into the White House. He claimed to have lost
His keys. What’s the proper name for a man caught stealing

Into his own home? I asked a few passengers. They replied,
Jigger. After that, I took the red-eye. I took to a sigh deep

As the end of a day in the dark fields below us. Some slept,
But nobody named Security ever believes me. Confiscated—

My Atripla. My Celexa. My Cortisone. My Klonopin. My
Flexeril. My Zyrtec. My Nasarel. My Percocet. My Ambien.

Nobody in this nation feels safe, and I’m still a reason why.
Every day, something gets thrown away on account of long

History or hair or fingernails or, yes, of course, my fangs.


About the Author:

Jericho Brown is an American poet and an Associate Professor at Emory University. “Homeland” was published in The New Testament (2014), a Lannan Literary Selection published by Copper Canyon Press. It was selected by Sherman Alexie for inclusion in the Best American Poetry 2015. “Homeland” is published by permission of the author.

  • Stacy Parker LeMelle

    This poem. Long live Jericho Brown.