Marion Brown

The machine of the marriage
Turned on
after both get out of bed,
the machine of the marriage
brews murky two-tone,
black with crema,
hisses, “Bon giorno
and squeezes out a day.
The machine bears
a dial to tell when.
Later, a third white cup 
but first
cooling as he lifts the tense
lever to pull her shot.
Polished each day, the machine
of the marriage mirrors
a face stained by bitter drops—
chrome boiler with handle
he turned,
whiskey-smooth in his palm.
Steam blisters fingers
if it gets out
when he makes espresso,
drug-den smoky,
fills the kitchen with a come-on
she knows.


A lifelong resident of New York State, Marion Brown lives with her husband in Yonkers. Her poems and reviews have appeared in Barrow Street, Big City Lit, DIAGRAM, Kestrel, Poetry International, Women’s Review of Books and elsewhere. In the Portico Library Poetry Competition, her poem “In the Dock, Fagin Reflects” was awarded First Prize. Her second chapbook of poems, The Morning After Summer, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. 

Issue 13

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