Gateway Arch

Your mother
        was there
scratching the back
                of her hand
for the itch in the black of her

Your father
        stood by,
passive half smile
                maybe forced
when your pursed lips hit
                        my skin.

600 feet
        above the
Mississippi, we were a
                Twain told
anachronism, our twine leading
                        out of the cave.

I felt it the moment your pride gave.

                                        I felt it
                                the moment
                        it sparked on my face.
                                        I felt it
                        on the walk back
to the elevators, and
                I felt it the all the way down
        to the ground.


John Mark Brown is a southern Illinois native, a senior creative writing student at Eastern Illinois University, and a cardigan enthusiast. Their work has appeared in the Indiana Review, Yellow Chair Review, Indiana Voice Journal, and Random Sample Review, among others. They can be found on Twitter at @johnbrownie13.