i am very comfortable in my white tee. i sit long legged, unclenching my jaw, sipping tea.
the women were strongjawed, proud, south shore salt and bitter,
offering words of welcome and strategy and approaching the table already embittered.
strange in the fight how dear our strength, how thick our salt, how pleasant
it is to do battle some days, no words, approaching love full fisted, pleasantly.
flowers across the street stoop with rain, loose with pride, dark purple ring--
a bee approaches with no strategy, bends its knees in mid air as if to kiss a sunring.
when we died in those days there were no flowers, nothing flooded the streets
but us, one by one three hundred thousand goodbyes, swollen knees kissed streets.
smart in a black tie, a mask never bore with it so true a face
as these millennials entering, swollen, purple, indebted, even death about-facing
to complete a dream balancing act, born black. born back
to my childhood as i age out of it, sacred ink scratches my back
raw. incomplete always, but especially at the turning points.
adulthood is a dream act. place a sacred marking at this point
and remember, especially, the other raw moments of song--
connected with thrill and remarkable mundanity. this song
will continue. virtue lies in the body, in our body, its health,
well-being, good sleep, lack of attachment to mere ideas of love, unhealthy
platitudes, platonic heavens hiding earth. you cannot hide the body. here
where we sit, the breeze, not smelling so sweet of city, ruffles lightly the leaves, here
is a place i call home.
home is a place i call
here. health sings, points back
at faces in the street. a ring of pleasant but bitter tea
all that’s left of unhealthy longing. this black night
welcomed to a rose moon, full of selfless love, awaiting
nothing, blinking at the waypoints of so many children,
across the choppy waters you see
a ladder to yourself sitting in a white tea
and jeans, content, turning 30.