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Friday, September 30, 2011

we ask them

we ask them
to forgive us
for dogs and clubs
and shootings
the innumerable rapes
and lynchings and the ones
we drug off
behind our pickups
and we beg them
to kneel down great god free at last
just like one of us
in remembrance of our lord
white jesus

what you think

when you try
to help a walker-clinging
cross the street
and she
jerks her elbow away
what you think
is if she only knew
how much
she resembles the you she never
she would be

Friday, September 23, 2011

khan job

this overcast fall morning
i thought at first
to get a take-out breakfast
but if i did it that way
what assurance
would i have that my hash browns
would be soft enough
and light enough
i could eat them without any teeth
pretending as i do
that i'm almost like you
like all the other like-you's when
you really get to know us
like that six hundred pound haitian
woman on tv who could
no longer walk and lay in her bed
surrounded by audio recordings
of bird-sounds and poetry
her daughters brought in to soothe her anxiety
but try as she may
could not stick to her supervised diet
and snuck fried food and two
liter fruit drinks
under her mattress saying
you i be more
beautiful than you
and you don't
watch out i taken your little man away
and hide him in my

Monday, September 19, 2011

the real you

in our high school art class
back in 52
you hardly ever spoke
and kept your eyes lowered
when the teacher would hold
up your work
for us to admire
so later on when we were seniors
and started to date
i had no way to anticipate
the fights you
would have with your mother
screaming matches
the neighbors could hear two houses away
and only fell silent when you'd
take my hand and pull me outside
to my daddy's
olds futuramic
and our usual friday night at the drive-in
where time and again
trembling with rage
you'd swear that when you got your
teacher's degree
you were going to leave this linthead town
and never come back and you
wouldn't have to
jack me off anymore and we could do everything really really
for real

all of you

it wasn't till after you died
that somebody else
told me the meaning of that perfume
you wore
left bank she said
but you can't
find it hardly anywhere anymore

Sunday, September 18, 2011

i dont know much

i dont know much
but i know what i like
not like some who
cant tell
a rc from a coke
or a beretta 92 from
a glock 17
which are not complicated things
at all except to that guy
who says
he is dying to own
that plain white canvas over there because some
like that
woman with all the hair over there
said in a article in the sunday times magazine
the white
could dance a solo
around whatshisnames green one

Saturday, September 17, 2011

when you talk to the animals

when you talk to the animals
i act like it too they're
still with us and how i care for them
the way you used to and call
them by name and tuck them in every night
cause what good would it do
to tell you the truth
that i had them all put down except
your old pom rex
or that he sleeps in your place now
where i can feel his faint little heart
close to mine
when i beg him please baby
don't leave
let me go first one time

Monday, September 12, 2011

the way it felt

the way it felt
when i thought
i was falling in love
the last time
is so far gone i can't even
recall her name
just the tiny glass gazelle she had
with three legs
that would shimmy on
the glass-topped dressing table
and fall over
every time we fucked

Saturday, September 10, 2011

the quickening

my body is sloughing away
even while it gains
but waste as it will
what's inside
is fading faster still
and listen don't tell anybody i told you
but only just yesterday
i had to go look
in the bible again to make sure when it was
mama died

Monday, September 5, 2011

over there

what good is it
for her to say
she never wanted anyone but me
in her whole life
when that nobody over there she's talking to
has stolen my name
and i'm just the one who stops by
to close the blinds and turn off the light
and tell his hunny bunny
night night
don't let the bedbugs bite

Sunday, September 4, 2011

sitting here with a people

sitting here with a people
from last year
i am suddenly aware of all the excellence
in the world
how each of us no matter how low
will get our reward
before it's all over
if not the presidential medal of freedom
why then a scholarship
in animal husbandry
or half an unrestricted mil from the macArthur foundation
all the way up to
us blessed few
with perfect attendance
in sunday school