Hebrews 13

Once, long ago, in a land I cannot name,
My lover and my brother both knocked
at my door like wind in an early winter.
I turned the heat high and poured coffee
Blacker than their hands which shivered
As we sat in silence so thin I had to hum.
They drank with a speed that must have
Burned their tongues one hot cup then
Another like two bitter friends who only
Wished to be warm again like two worn
Copies of a holy book bound by words to keep
Watch over my life in the cold and never ever sleep

Jericho Brown, “Hebrews 13″ from The New Testament. Copyright © 2014 by Jericho Brown. Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press. First published in the UK in 2018 by Picador, an imprint of Pan Macmillan. Reproduced by permission of Macmillan Publishers International Limited.