Some calm . . .
setting like sun done come upon me
as I find pieces of myself that were kept away for birthdays, family gatherings, and first dates.
They lie tucked under the bath house bed.
My palm, pressed to skin, feels like solace and I feel still
Laying transfixed, still. . .
My eyes find some man being fucked, violently
His head bent low.
and I saw you laying parallel.
Playing majorette with a couple of torn heart-strings.
Twirling about with some other man’s ruined symphony.
You blew smoke- thick like illusion – and sang of worlds where we weren’t prey for White men eager to waste salt on our endings.
Some part of me sat with you back when food was homemade and basons were bath tubs and we laughed at uncle Floyd’s missing teeth
and dirt roads that no one can drive on
and night’s out and even crack pipes
and we laughed.
And thought on how ghetto life seemed easy compared to this numb terror.
Still . . .
Barely understood thoughts: gold bands and dark skin
Hurston and Hughes.
a month of Sundays
pale skin and Betty Gene
insertion and pain
bleeding at the start
and minstrel shows
money shots, towels and still . . .
we all lay under some White man’s gaze.