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And…we’re back! It’s National Poetry Month AGAIN! Day 1 of 30

Before we begin, I don’t want to pretend like I’m not being emotionally and mentally affected by all that’s going on in our world. But this is the only way I know how to process. So, I can’t promise you these all wont be about the coronavirus. I’m hoping they won’t. That being said…let’s get to it.

 MODEL

my mother hasn’t seen my face in
some time and it’s turning our
nightly phone calls into painting sessions
where she tries to see if she can
catch the curve of my jaw, the worry
weight in my wooly cheeks, the new
growth and extra half inch of hair,
the one that stress broke off.

I tell her I haven’t been drinking or
at least I haven’t been drinking much,
and she thins the paint around my stomach,
turpentines the pot from my belly and
says, that’s good to hear.

I say I’ve gone to get groceries
and she dabs her brush in the black
and does a wash which will suffice
for the t-shirt she knows so well
and the jeans and sneakers,
and the hoodie she used to be
concerned about, all
from the timbre of my voice.

It’s a rough. An idea. But still something
to hang on the wall and marvel at until morning.
But before we say goodnight, before she
rinses the brushes, I say again,
with great uncertainty,

I’m alright, but are you?
And I know she hears the fear in my voice
I know she’s painted the furrow
that seems to go on forever, but instead
of yes or no, she says,
you haven’t seen your mother’s face in
some time and have forgotten
what you look like.

Day 30 of 30

RECLAMATION OF ROPE

yarn braided together
brother we are fiber
sister we are strand
tensile tough twisted
around throat and
threat brother sister
we can gnaw the apple
from adam snatch his
voice from his neck
us as rope it will fit
perfectly in this
together-mouth I am
certain will not knot

Day 29 of 30

FISH DINNER

my mother was frying fish
today and i hate when she
fry fish because the stink
get all in my cotton like
summer funky or cigar and

i say why you always gotta
stink up the house when i
gotta go somewhere and don’t
wanna show up humming of
catfish and grouper and

sizzlin’ old grease from
last week’s fry and she say eat
boy shut up eat because love
sometimes gotta smell like
fish to feel like full belly

Day 28 of 30

A REMINDER AND RECKONING (in need of a rest)

at some point i must admit
that i am not composed of stone
that i am not an iron spit
hot but unburned above the flame

at some point i will need to sit
and take heed of my flesh and bone
and maybe even cry a bit
and beat my head and scream my name

jason jason grind and grit
don’t forget you’re not alone
for everywhere is where you fit
and everyone feels just the same

Day 26 of 30

ON HUBRIS AND KANYE

what happens when you
start to see yourself

more as savior
than servant

what makes a king jam
the tines of his crown

into the chests of
the crown makers

and gesture as jester
jesus as they bleed

Day 25 of 30

WHAT WE DONT WANNA TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT JORDAN

i was lucky i felt
lucky to be around
to see a black man
fly through the air
tongue out to tease
the world camera
flashes bouncing off
bald shine ball in
hand outstretched
superhero red and
black and black man
had me feeling lucky
to be black turned
shoes into spaceships
and forcefields and
targets worth the
risk as a black boy
who believed they
could make me jump
higher than hate
i hate to say this
now i hate to say
this now i hate to
say i felt like a
fool to find he
thought less of the
boom bap and record
scratch that made
him took him from
athlete to astronaut
red there is red
around here and black
kids in your city see
it and many wear your
shoes while walking
through minefields they
have given their
arms to you and hope
to make it to your
jersey number
the first one and
you be the last one
to come around and
to me someone who use
to feel lucky about you
knows that’s just
bull shit