there is no flash

Metta Sáma

the eyes            fine tuned            perhaps

                    consciously       a first time offense

to focus on    cliché                              heaven

          a great white trope:     the white light 

the first time I nearly died

          I reached too            towards                 imaginary white

lands of white hands draped in white robes white rings glowing
      above white heads

      instead I forced my niece to enter my mind           her first

word   light      an opened fist of light             mouthed

           see the light see the light see              the light

some midnight season of new moons      an annihilation

      of the obscenity of the bright white flesh

of a glistening cold moon poking through the night

                                               my father says                   show me the
      poet

who knows      absolute darkness            is    the light

  my niece sings this little light of mine & points in the darkness 

   this little light see the light of mine I’m gonna let see the light

                           friends                         there is no light at the end

only hunger    muted            & sharp     blinding rage

of the mind’s kaleidoscopic emptiness oh it is blindingly white

 

More by Metta Sáma

Fish & Duck Skills

Sometimes it pays to go to Bojangles. To drive
out of the parking lot, see the red awning: Fish & 
Duck Skills. A man walks out and it is broad
daylight. Back when I was a new adult in Chattanooga
I’d dare myself to go to the Adult Book Shop on
Market Street in the daytime or to the gasoline 
station that my parents frequented, the one close
to our old house, where pornography was stored
in plastic. Back then I only dreamt in violence. &
living was an act of deliberate volatility. Likely,
I could trace it all back to Vaughn who laughed
in my face when I told him I’d been molested
that this was the reason having sex with boys 
was an act of self-hatred, how Vaughn shared
not his story of sexual assault, but my story,
with any Tyner Junior High teen willing 
to listen. So much was going on back then:
the little race riots between us & Ooltewah,
the White gay guy who thought he was Prince
and was terrified of being found out 
that he wasn’t Prince & that he was gay,
the boys who would store their guns in our
lockers, my girl friends and I pretending 
we were gay, kissing each other in the hallway,
on the lips, in front of the teachers, because
designer clothes were expensive and scandal
was free. I didn’t bother telling anyone 
that I was queer and that just about every
single day I didn’t wish I was White, I just
wished that White people weren’t. But
I fished for the Whitest voice and duck tailed 
my hair knowing that one day no one would remember
that I put a gun in my locker, that I kissed
Deidre on her lips, that I sang “the freaks
go out at night” at the top of my lungs & thrust
my hips to “Candy” on my way to the pep rally. No,
what people would remember was that I was
Black. The end.