ink no longer courses, no longer paces
races for my existence
but ours. seeping through
pages, parchments, photographs
fabric, above the fold
headlines. news sometimes.
at times. oftentimes skewed.
ink shedding in cursive p r i n t typed
drawn, sketched, etched. molded prototypes —
tested insights. scripted – scriptures, gospel
the gospel – proverbs.
ink waxed, candlelight
night after night
ink drops, colors – the blues
transferred onto eulogies, the cries of
lullabies. notes dangling
on a score, beats
records, 4/4 measure, off the cuff
on the tongue
chants – volumes, decibels, pitches
throats sore, bruised
in crowds, on corners
in harmony and discord.
ink penned in pulpits and pews, on pillows
dare we dream. yes! on pillows ink
can narrate the theme, when polaris
seems to have lost all her gleam.
ink dripped, poured, splattered. breath
to the suffocating – cated, dead
by knees and needs never bent to pray
grandma, the ancestors buried
at sea, warned – forsooth, foreseen.
ink flecked, rubbed
smudged, diluted as if a stain
defying erasure, impermanence
time and time again
passed on, received by you
and me – we
but what is ink good for
when our existence is never believed?
FUND IN PRAYER
My child, why uproot these seeds? From that first vociferous cry, I knew you.
In the color fields, with Gilliam painting to Coltrane’s Giant Steps, I drew you.
They stay on their grind with plastic butter knives and salivation. Spitting
papercut thin lines, from razors beneath their tongues, to construe you.
Yes you! Panting perpetually towards noxious constellations given proper
names. “But by whom,” asked Morrison. Where is the light that comes through you?
Baker, Chisholm, Anderson – My Country, ‘Tis of Thee. The gospel still
must be sung – tucked in lullabies and eulogies of fragility. It is true you
must keep the force of Baldwin on your lips. Smith’s woo in your hips. Lorde’s
diction of luxury at your fingertips. And, Dana, let the world catch up to you.