Thank you for these tiny particles of ocean salt, pearl-necklace viruses, winged protozoans: for the infinite, intricate shapes of submicroscopic living things. For algae spores and fungus spores, bonded by vital mutual genetic cooperation, spreading their inseparable lives from equator to pole. My hand, my arm, make sweeping circles. Dust climbs the ladder of light. For this infernal, endless chore, for these eternal seeds of rain: Thank you. For dust.
Marilyn Nelson - 1946-
Epiphany Davis, 1825
I set up my cash box and my bones and cards on Broadway, most days, offering what I see of what’s to come. For a donation, words fall from my mouth, surprising even me. Uncle Epiphany doesn’t forecast death or illness worse than gout or a broken bone. The sailors stop. They listen with caught breath as I tell them some girl’s heart is still theirs alone. (… or not. Young love is such a butterfly.) Girls come, arms linked, giggling behind their fans. The sad come. Uncle Epiphany does not lie. I close shop, and come back up here to my land. It’s a new world up here, of beggar millionaires: neighbors who know how we all scrimped and saved to own this stony swamp with its fetid air, to claim the dream for dreamers yet enslaved. I’m Epiphany Davis. I am a conjure-man. I see glimpses. Glass towers … A horseless vehicle … An American President who is half African … Until you pay me, that’s all I’m going to tell.