On History (For the vet.)

poetry

My students are reading Invisible Man and it’s getting to me:

The buzzards crowed.
It was time
To fall into silence.

It was time
To link our limbs to the shoulders of our patrons

And have them carry us off into caricature
Into story.

Ours is a dark continent
Filled with ghastly nothings
and the primitiveness of lost time

A savage ghost town.
Bodies made to scramble

Earth made to carve up like a glazed broken organ

It is time
To walk.

To make boundless the scars of story-telling
To cure children of their willingness to
hug or embrace

We time killers.

We gut out mountains of talking And we furnish text.

We time-kill.

We lay in wait,
carving up the stillness of making and print out blocks of words.

Cuz you understand better. Cuz this is proper talk.

Cuz making a victim out of possibility is what we do.

Cuz we do our job well.

We do our job so well
We forget the wombs we fell from, disguise the gracefulness of our shoulders,
and read the books that we were told to make.

We weren’t supposed to read those books.

Now, what we do with the words we hold inside our mouths is of prime importance.
We have to stop carelessly dropping words out of our palms like they non-toxic
like they don’t cut through the justice of sound
like they don’t claw at children and bright babies and wrench away the innocence of desire

Stop dropping these words like you can’t help it.
Like you can’t help it.
Like you
can’t help it.

(2014)

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