person Mandy Brown, five poems

Mandy Brown (she/her) is a queer Central Texas poet, a 2019 Poetry Half-Marathon winner, and the 2013 ARHOF’s Tillie Olsen Fellow. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Writers Resist, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Eunoia Review, and more. Mandy currently teaches at an alternative school and loves it! Read more at



His world
bristled at the rim
of a cup
he refused
to drink.

originally published in Right Hand Pointing, April 2015


Seventy-five Bobby Pins

You stood by the table and
removed them
from my hair before
walking with me to our
wedding bed.

They sit by my bedside now,
And I count them,
again and again.

originally published in
Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Issue 6, April 2013
Circa Review, July 2013
The Best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal 2013, December 2013
Eunoia Review, April 2015


Upon Reentry

Upon reentry I will be kind. I will not compare myself to
moving targets, but I will watch their light wrap around me.

I will allow myself rest, to move slowly, or quickly, or not at all.
When I come home, which is not always when I arrive there,

I will speak or sing or dance. I will reflect the spark of her smile,
remember the wrinkles in his hands.I will promise our stories faith

that it was never the place that held the magic.



We asked her how to find home,
and she lifted her hands,
exploring her palms—sure
among the calluses,
the dirt, and
the blisters,
a map had always been there.

originally published in Right Hand Pointing, April 2015



We drove all evening to be in the shadows of the pier in folding chairs with poles thrown back into the ocean. It’s really a gulf, but you said it counts because it’s all connected anyway. We hang raw shrimp from our hooks and catch fish smaller than the bait, their bellies bulging from the free meal. You unhook yours and smile as you throw him back in. I watch the small body fall into the water and hope he doesn’t bruise. I feel like him having to swallow Mom’s gravity. She doesn’t know we left, but we’ll be back before she wakes, holding pills out to her in offerings. How I wish she’d unhook us and throw us back. Together we would find the ocean.

originally published in Circa Review, July 2013


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