Crows assemble in the bare elm above our house.
Restless, staring: like souls
who want back in life.
— And who wouldn’t want again
the hot bath after hard work,
with soft canyons of splitting foam;
or the glass of spring water
cold at the mouth?
To be startled by beauty — drops of bright
blood on the snow.
To be radiant.
the futurethe presentthe past
we workwe strugglewe beginwe fail
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he sits on the stone seat in the river of Market
and looks into the light
the light changes he said and I feel time
he speaks of the slant of the golden light when the season turns
and it seems the night with its mystery is coming
the light is a veil of life
he speaks of the sidewalk wet in the rain
I think of his words when I’m out in the wet
The occult perfume of cement
I wake up in the morning and call for my mother like I never did before
what was that you dreamed about time? that word you made?
The depression and the depressed
The religion and the sinner
The lie and the truth
The psychosis and the psychotic
The fruit and the infectious weeds
The tear and the retraction of sadness
The ache and the needle and the stitch
The family and the estranged
The kitten and the lion
The poet and the poem
The ten and the zero
The date and the dated
The empty pot and the full belly
The wink and the snicker
ABOUT THIS POEM: “‘Muddy’ is inspired by the motion and cadence of Diné words. Looking at it on the page, one sees kinetic text and hears onomatopoeia, so the repetition of ‘tł’ish’ reenacts the sound of someone stepping in mud, and then the word itself turns into a poem.” — Orlando WhiteRead More...
that she is now
daughter is not convinced
she has grown up
in the same
she sits in
as she listens
to Black father
of her newfound Blackness
her child mind
is not yet
able to understand
it jumps to
more familiar things