Another Elegy by Jericho Brown
By Angela Chude
The speaker watches his favorite professor shoot himself in the mouth. He goes home that night and turns 29 as he sleeps realizing how he has only a limited time to live.In the poem it says "Let's fight it out, baby. You only have so long left." He grows depressed and has to take medication to avoid the effects of the trauma ("Every night, I take a pill. Miss one and I'm gone, miss two and we're through"). The speaker watches a sunset and compares it to the end of a life.
There is an irregular pattern in the rhyme scheme and meter. There are sentences that end and begin in the middle of the verse, so in many verses the middle words end up being stressed.
"Let's fight it out, baby. You only have
Only so long left-a man turning
In his sleep-so I take a picture."