In a parallel universe

Aaron Brown


you never left / your friends
never died / your ears never heard
the gunshot never fired / the smoke
never rose / your C-130 never winged
its way out / you never lived months 
waiting to return / in a parallel universe

you stayed / went to university
in the capital / found a job drilling
wells into the earth / searched out 
water in the earth’s heart / the danger
to your parallel universe not war 
but boredom / perhaps
you saved your francs / to build
a brick house out of town / brought
your love to live there / perhaps 
you married in the sands / perhaps
your skin changed into the baked 
dust color / in a parallel universe

you never know the art
of losing / the loss of loving /
never know when to stop
digging a never-ending well / a well
that never seeps moisture
but is brittle and dry all the way down

after Julie Moore


Aaron Brown

Aaron Brown

Aaron Brown is the author of the poetry collection Acacia Road, winner of the 2016 Gerald Cable Book Award (Silverfish Review Press). He has been published in World Literature Today, Tupelo Quarterly, Waxwing, Cimarron Review, and Transition, among others. Brown grew up in Chad and now lives in Kansas, where he is a professor of writing at Sterling College. He holds an MFA from the University of Maryland. On his two poems in Collateral, Brown writes, "I've challenged myself in my newer work to navigate dislocation that is not just geographical but spiritual, and to add formal characteristics to my poetry that mirror the breakdown of narrative and memory.” You can read more about Aaron at www.aaronbrownwriter.com.