Fresno Poems: houselights, songs and weather

(Featured in Lungfull!, Backwards City Review, and Short, Fast & Deadly)

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We Lived

We lived in a sweltering heat, a bright dry heat burning the life out of the day. You could hear the high whine and hum of people running the air conditioning. We ran in and out of their houses. No one walked outside, just some soundless teenagers sometimes, in t-shirts. The streets were empty and glaring. The canals rushed and sparkled.

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west & vassar: how the san joaquin saved my life

 

when we show up these songs are already playing. everything is yellow and it is always in the way. some of it is broken and none of it is consequential. we leap through the house wearing a path between the inner and outer worlds. by daylight it disappears and all the objects are exhausted. the blinds are drawn over an indifferent scene. who says we weren’t tired and lonely? I came to the valley during its freeze and flew down blackstone high, catching something under the human heart, that dead and dying space. I’d brought his dumb memory to the world.

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subsolar mornings

we were watching an unfamous performer in pamela basmajian’s living room while the sun nailed itself through our heads in madera county. it seemed like life was going to go on this way forever: incessantly. during what we called the start of day, a hot smog stretched itself over the valley. everybody was going to church that summer. they said, make yourselves at home.

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Jennifer E. Brown is a writer from San Francisco. Her work appears in Lungfull!The Indiana ReviewFourteen HillsThe New Orleans Review, and other American literary journals. Presently she has been nominated by Short, Fast & Deadly for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. She holds a master’s degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and works at Mills College in Oakland, California.

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