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If You Play Jolene at 33 rpm


Dolly’s vocals lower

to a cowboy croon:


I’m begging of you      please

don’t take my man.


Slow any song

and sorrow blooms


like blood

through a bandage.


Slow sorrow

and it darkens like dusk-


stained windows.

Outside, moths fire-dance


around a porch light,

a black horse breathes


in a field, lungs filling

with night.


The words curve

into prayer:     please


don’t take him

even though you can.


Jolene as Jesus

green-eyed with fiery hair,


the god

gay men at bedsides begged


to spare their loves.

Imagine the quiet


when she didn’t answer.

Sound of the stylus lifted,


the record still turning.

Phillip Watts Brown.jpg

Phillip Watts Brown

Pronouns: He/Him

1 Poem

If You Play Jolene at 33 rpm


Phillip Watts Brown (he/him) received his MFA in poetry from Oregon State University. His work has appeared in several journals, including Tahoma Literary Review, Camas, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Rust + Moth, Sweet Tree Review, and Psaltery & Lyre. He and his husband live in Logan, Utah where he works at an art museum and writes poems during lunch breaks.

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