Sadness is Not the Only Muse

dezireé a. brown | Poetry

after Derrick Austin

My wife’s loud cackle echoes
from the bedroom. It’s the kind
of laugh that adds seven whole minutes
to your life. She must be trading jabs
with her sister, or making a lewd
joke about concrete and the curves
of her body. She howls like she’s finally
found the sun she’s been searching for, alive
and whispering hymns underneath
her pillow. Like her voice is the only sound
that can prevent this city from shrouding
into darkness. Like, at any second, she’ll become
the sun she’s been searching for — rising up
from our rose-colored sheets to claim
a corner of the horizon for herself:
taking a warm bath with blinking stars,
baking cakes and garlic naan to share
with feverish gods. The two small dogs
at my feet scurry through our apartment,
chew toys in tow, hoping to find
the source of the sound.