[for Ishion Hutchinson] The thing about entertaining them, about keeping their company, about fraternizing, is you must remember they are bloodless and have many faces, though it’s easy enough to walk in sunlight, where either you or they become invisible, never together seen; easy to get in bed with them, to bed them, to be seduced by them— listing in their own dominance. Remember what makes one human, animal, is not the high road but the baseness in the heart, the knowledge that they could, at any moment, betray you.
I wake in the golden belly of this abode
and sense some diurnal grace at work.
I take my body to the fall, to bathe
and anoint my genitals with shea.
I have made my journey to the cold hills
to commune with my people there.
I come for the second beautiful harvest
and have waited long to look into its eye.
The harvest hosts libations, the meal
and my desire—so I drink the deep
heady liquid of its languid stare, under
the hum of many voices: burgeoning
friendships and reunion in the low light.
I break into the soft weirdness of injera
and dip my fingers into the meat stew,
to celebrate the glory of the kings.
The clear splendor of the serving boy,
his slow blink as of a camel, does not
distract me—here to reap but seduced
by the second beautiful harvest.