An Obscured Strand of DNA

Agrarian living in the lower orient

And you: like men who used to wr

ite things with their hands on dead


You cannot speak on aggression u

nless you’ve sat through delirium


you understand duty above all thi

ngs and will not be moved by fear

My grandfather’s eyes glaze when

he sees old black men who’ve ma

de it through their diasporic mito

chondrial curses

he knows delirium tremens and s

ays nothing of them and perhaps t

his silence is what ails us

I have not forgotten that xanadu is

a tangible place known as Halifax,

Nova Scotia where I will be promi

sed Africa and Africa I will find

Agrarian living in the lower orient

will ground me again to the earth

I’ve come from.

I tire of your patois nigger bullsh

it and I’m no leader no champion

no fast american no capitalist no

commie politician no visionary n

o master of this or any universe

I am a quiet farmer—a poor mest

izo who likes to write and listen a

nd walk in tall grass and haunt the

peaceful nights

because lovers know aggression b

eyond thoughts of fighters. beyond

thoughtful blows and bellows of r


because lovers know aggression be

yond thoughts of fighters. We are n

ot so simple. So I wait for afterlife r

omance and make love on Sunday a

nd spit and cry and assume and tre

spass chained properties and smile

when I can.

My grandfather’s voice has the atro

phied timbre of an aged troubadour

island traversing with a band of me

rry boozing muse-icians who drink

on Saturday and sing their way into

her bed on Sunday and on Monday

they till the earth for more of its wa

rmth & idyll arrogance.

My history occupies the space of th

e world’s last colony and he hardly

misses it and he admits to being a

merican. the next place he was eve

r a nigger. See, true lovers release t

heir aggression, tenderly, between

the legs of others and lay there and

hold and sigh and wait for the sun

or the moon or another celestial co

ugh of tomorrow and


its promise.

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