Category: Uncategorized

Day 20 of 30

ON STARBUCKS ET AL

just because there are options
for skinny and whip or no
whip and iced and blended
and added vanilla
sweetener and foam and no
foam and light ice and
extra hot and small as tall
and medium as big and large
as for some reason
an italian word
for flare maybe
venti

eventually
we’ll have to address the fact
the coffee is always burnt
and you’ve always gotten my
name wrong

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Day 19 of 30

UNTITLED

i’ve been whispered to
told secrets by brown girls who
grit teeth as greeting
who split open at night
and sew shut in day and
wish they were seen and
wish they weren’t seen
and wish they weren’t
seen as chasms as canyons
to be walked through and
explored with steel toe
and pick axe surveyed by
an adventurer’s eye a conquerer’s
boot and dirty nail
on the foothold and grip of

i’ve been whispered to
told desires of being more
than halved mountain
and chipped stone
and erosion and drought and
flood and seismic
shift and quake and bolt
being more than mishap
missed or misses target
practice for phallus
fashioned as god

and i call my mother
ask her if i can confide in her with
the secrets i’ve been told if i can
lay my broken rules upon her breast
this rock of my family
this rock of mine
and all she says is to remember
to knock the dust off my hands
before i come to her table

Day 17 of 30

APRIL 17, 1942, JACKIE ROBINSON GETS HIS FIRST MAJOR LEAGUE HIT AND WE STILL US

if you ever stood at the plate
looked out at the mound and saw fang and
the future burned bodies of the first
favorite passtime and a pastlife on
a painful pasture and a pastor telling you
of your birthright of burden
if you knew he was having a ball spitting
your way and had a ball was going low and
going high and to the right whispering
nigger in your ear as it whizzed past
your head better duck better duck better
batter batter bitter change up but you
know it ain’t no change up at all
if you could see the curveball coming
before you got to the game before they
gave you a number and a position before
they trusted you with a bat
and if you ever took a bunt when a home run
was easy but you knew a home run could
easily mean a hard run home

Day 15 of 30

ON POOR WHITE PEOPLE

there are moments i think about them
mostly i don’t but sometimes i do
think about when i was called boot bottom
by the creased upper and the scuffed heel
and the lace untaped untied a frayed
tentacle of thread loose and lackluster

there are moments i think about them
mostly i don’t but sometimes i do
think about how at some point we were all
cobbled together but it was me who was
called threadbare and flimsy bound to melt
on hot tar thin out from journey

there are moments i think about them
talking to me like they fedora feather
like they pocket square and windsor
like they tab and pleat break and crease
like we ain’t all down here as essential
outcasts from the onset completing this outfit

this purple pimp suit
like we ain’t all down here squeaking
and breaking and wearing and tearing
making sure the bare feet of america
never knows the intimate feeling of marching
on the fingers of the world aflame

Day 14 of 30

A CHALLENGED LOVE
(for Mark Pollock, who I saw speak with his partner at TED, 2018)

today i listened to a blind man
and his wife talk about the day
he became a blind paralyzed man
and how the double down dug them
into a deep hole neither of them
had packed boots for how she had

just taught him to dance in the
dark how to move and step and
listen to a body that would break
in half and still and would deny
him hip sway and gyrate and jig and
swing and touch of torso and dip and

darling you’ve never had to see me
to see me she said but darling this
is not what you signed up for he said
his wheelchair too cumbersome to cha-cha
and samba but perfect for somber saturdays
where she begs him to forgive his legs

for their miscommunication and his eyes
for their obsession with obsidian
she reminds him that his mouth can
still taste what’s too stubborn to leave
can still say what’s too singular to change