PoetryIssue 08 | February 2010

Four poems by Mahogany L. Browne

Brooklyn Tongue II

The woman makes herself at home in the seat of a
fold out chair.  The storefront is her day gig. She sells
loose cigarettes for two quarters until her red hoodie
bulges, tumor sized, on her right side. She uses her left
hand to wave to the children coming home from
school. They live in her building or up the block.
“They my babies,” she sighs. The crease between her
cheeks and nose look heavy, some days. But on good
days,  when the sun is high and the wind whistles thru
Crown Heights like a young man with his first paycheck,
she wears a jet black wig cropped behind her un-pierced
ears and powders her nose to dull its shine. Her smile
dances of several missing teeth. The butt of her cigarette
is a bronze pendulum, swinging amber into the dusk.

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About the author

Mahogany Browne, host and curator at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, is a Cave Canem Fellow who facilitates performance poetry and writing workshops throughout the country. She owns an on-line marketing and distribution company for poets. Mahogany is editor of His Rib: Stories, Poems & Essays by HER and author of Destroy Rebuild & Other Reconstructions of the Human Muscle. She has released five LPs, including the live album, Sheroshima. These Brooklyn Tongue poems are from the forthcoming collection, SWAG (Penmanship Books).

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok