Day 30 of 30

WHEN THEY BURY TONY ALLEN

let there be silence first
just for a moment while we stretch
our skin across this barrel of an earth

this headless and assless cavity
just for a moment while we stretch
our skin across the splintered wood

of history brown from bucktown to trenchtown
just for a moment while we stretch
our skin from trenchtown to lagos

to brixton the epidermis of everything
just for a moment while we stretch
our skin weathered and wonderthick

staple it to the sides of our world tight
just for a moment while we stretch
our hands above our heads high high high

and together

bang the drum
bang the drum
bang the drum

Day 29 of 30

WHEN ORGANIZING BOOKSHELVES

in an effort to move
in an effort to dance
and squat and summon

hip flexors and blades of
shoulders that ain’t cut much
lately besides the air
around my ears

i decided to reorganize
my bookshelf
embellishment is breath
to a poet
i decided to organize
my bookshelf

for the first time
and it’s been a long time
since i’ve seen my friends

when they were young
when we were younger trying
to find language for move
out my way when we were trying
to find language for kiss
and tell the world when we were trying
to find language for fight
atrophied mind and ain’t no
body got time to wait on nobody
who dont know we genius black

stapled pages pixelated word art
for cover autographs in bic blue
that make the hair on my neck ovate
and thicken my saliva

and as i stretch this body and
alphabetize my journey
proud of the spines we’ve made
and the backs we’ve broken and
the pages of future incantations
back when stoops were our stew pots

i wipe dust from my eyes clap clouds
into this world i’ve forgotten
i haven’t made alone and ask

friends how did you know i needed you
friends i’ve missed you so
what now

Day 28 of 30

WORTH IT

drove two hours
yesterday in a car
i rented to buy
a pound of crawfish
from a ghost town
fish joint just
off the bay bridge

i bought them dressed
like i’d come to
steal them ate them
leaning over the trunk
of the getaway

something there a
solace in something
else full of flavor
and spice and juice
being dismembered

Day 27 of 30

HOUSEMAKER

something to be said
about knowing how to arrange
the alphabet into spell
and how to fold a fitted sheet
into square and how to season
a cast iron and a fresh piece
of swordfish and how to choose
a frame and a space on the wall
and a color or two and a
chair or three and a hanger
and move an iron across natural
fibers so wrinkle go smooth and
smooth make me smooth and there’s
something to be said
about knowing how to build a
house with the alphabet and still
not be able to sound out love

Day 26 of 30

A GOOD DAY

i cried today
a cry that felt like
like a barbell in the bottom

of my stomach
and a swallow crawling
up my throat

my father called me
to tell me the cancer
apparently didn’t

love him as much as I do
and i almost hung up
i got so hung up

Day 25 of 30

MIRROR TALK

one day i will say good morning
to the walls that house all this
simple, the shell of this mess
somehow fashioned into maybe man
but mostly scared thing, a lazy
but interesting idea waiting to
be born or at least discussed
as a bonafide possibility

one day i will say to me, i see you,
and i will respond to me, how when im not
here, i will finally say good morning
to an apathetic afternoon parading
as a perpetual first day of
spring, i will say good morning to
what i’ve become, what the world
has made me, there will be a messenger
pigeon in my ear, it will have made
a nest there with ribbons of my eardrum,
there will be shit on my shoulder,
a pile of it, and i will finally see
it and recognize that them aint my
feathers and them aint my wings,
and say and say and say good morning

and that will be the day night
comes earlier than it ever has

and the next day probably wont

Day 24 of 30

THE COMPLICITY OF FOOLS

and what if i say nothing
about the beheading of the world?

a jester swallowing a bloody-handled
sword with the names of my kin

etched in the iron.
will a murderous clap sound the same

with red splat in my eye? is an encore
an honor if accompanied by guillotine?