Last night after school I finally got around
to looking at the formula for a sestina
& thought of Crazy Horse dancing in the desert
& I asked, Is god gonna appear here?
I want god
a blue light so dark
it stains everything for centuries
radiative hallucinatory rood smelling
like urine & frankincense.
One hip has always been higher
one breast longer
& my thighs & belly at midlife,
like stupid teenagers
are totally out of control
& Bessie or diamond black Big Maybelle
bawdy ballad red
throat cut in the sign of the cross
sodomized with a black cat bone
crossed with lye
road sign turned around
roach wings floating
in the semi circular canal
(a white boy in the workshop, hip downtown grunge, shaves his
prematurely bald head, tattoos [you know, the whole bit], wonders
aloud if roaches get in poor people’s ears when they sleep)
A girl says, Yeah, yeah they do, running like roads
out of nowhere, out of lines, & I fall back twenty-five years
before most of them were born & I whisper to Chris:
It didn’t make any difference which side of the line you were on,
did it? When the wheel hit that dip & the motorcycle flipped
in the air in the light of a cervical vertebra
snapped in infinitum electrons spinning like wheels
around a dying nucleus of light scurrying
under cracks in some linoleum in Queens
& sometimes under the concrete the city is walking on
I see the cotton fields my daddy ran away from;
& his face, the love pulls me like an eclipse
to the worn envelope of poems I found in his drawer
when he died—
lines crossed in gasoline, burning.
& you know those ol’ niggers back then
had about as much a chance of making it
as butterflies at Auschwitz.
Is that why he did it?
Now time is a light dimming as it burns brighter
turning me toward the dark then the light again. I hope.