Long ago I met a beautiful boy Together we slept in my mother's womb Now the street of our fathers rises to eat him :: Everything black is forbidden in Eden In my arms my brother sleeps, teeth pearls I give away the night so he can have this slumber :: I give away the man who made me white I give away the man who freed my mother I pry apart my skull my scalp unfurls :: I nestle him gray inside my brain, my brother sleeps and dreams of genes mauve lips fast against spine he breathes. The sky :: bends into my eyes as they search for his skin Helicopter blades invade our peace::: Where is that Black Where is it Where :: Blades slice, whine pound the cupolas I slide him down and out the small of my vertebrae He scurries down the bone and to the ocean :: navigates home in a boat carved of gommier When he reaches our island everyone is relieved though they have not forgotten me, belsé :: Where is your sister, eh? Whey? Koté belsé yé? Whey? Koté li yé Koté li yé To the sand To the stars on the sea Koté li yé Koté li yé To the one-celled egun To the torpid moon Koté li yé Koté li yé :: There::: Koté li yé drapes across a baton; glows electric in shine of taser; pumped dry with glass bottle; :: There::: Koté li yé vagina gape into the night; neck dangle taut with plastic bags and poorly knotted ropes; :: There::: Koté li yé belsé Koté? ::: I burn my skin shines blacker, lacquer ::: non-mwen sé flambó ashes tremble in the moonlight ::: sans humanité my smoking bones fume the future ::: pa bwè afwéchi pou lafiyèv dòt moun
Victims of Unreason
John Keene, in an interview with Tonya Foster in Bomb Magazine, Fall 2015, posits “[c]apitalism being the quintessence of reason, in one way, and of unreason, in another,” and speaks, later, of “the victims of unreason…”
Until they're all converted, every block has a skinny white lady of indeterminate age with an underbite and a cigarette in her right hand swinging as she makes her way down the block. Sometimes this lady organizes the trash in the courtyard in the middle of the night into neat bundles of bulk, bags and recycling. Sometimes this lady screams through the wall that you're a whore and he's a faggot or mumbles under her breath when you pass her in the hallway, the street, the bodega. She wears the same small blue jacket and gray hoodie all winter, face the very image of the moon in Le voyage dans la Lune, space capsule in her
eye. Until they’re replaced,” she may or may not have children, who may or may not be bigger than her, may or may not be wholly or partially white, who indicate some sort of dalliance with boundaries she seems loathe to cross, at least socially, now, and they may or may not also smoke cigarettes, organize the trash or clean the sidewalk, or mumble beneath their breath when you pass. None of them is the super or the super’s family or in any way connected with anything official like the super, but they keep the building, and it's environs, clean, and for this they earn a begrudging respect from their neighbors, until they are gone.
Until the buildings are all filled with white people who have money to spend at cafés and wine bars, and for a little while thereafter, there is, on every block, a black man dressed for all seasons in a camel hair coat, hat with ear flaps, and tattered leather gloves who paces the street speaking to no one In particular in a language no one the neighborhood understands; not Arabic, Spanish, Nahuatl, or English. This man may or may not have a small white dog he pushes in a stroller, he may or may not pull a toddler out of the path of an oncoming car; the ambulance may or may not call at his door repeatedly, the health department may or may
not issue repeated summons. Until they are gone, the people of the block will feed him from the block party proceeds, and the bodega will make of him an honored guest; he may or may not carry a boombox or plastic bag he uses to pick up detritus of the night’s garbage wind and under snow melt remainings. Until he is displaced, he may or may not have a house or apartment, space which is only entered by him, his shopping cart and himself alone, and when he approaches his own threshold his shouts and cries turn to low and coarse offerings at keyholes, punic columns of books in a foyer of grime, until they are gone.