for Thapelo Makutle
All throat now already brighter than the stars.
I could hold you in my song. Sotto voce, tremble
against me: a breeze slips in, cools my blood
to garnet bed stained with stones, cold and finally
useless I Orpheo, I lyre. Down river, even damned
with hum, there is room for your cry in my mouth Sweet,
sweet sotto voce, I sang your moan until the machete
swung then I kept singing. I eyeless, I eternal.
The guards hold blades to the sky and cut the dark open.
Do you hear me raining from the wound? My tongue
is a kingdom You live there.
Copyright © 2014 by Saeed Jones. Reprinted from Split This Rock’s The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database.
Saeed Jones is the author of Prelude to Bruise (Coffee House Press, 2014), a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and winner of the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry.
Date Published: 2016-04-28
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/nocturne-beheaded