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About this Poem 

"'Flux' was inspired by the thirty-sixth chapter of the Dao de Jing as translated by Jonathan Star and D.C. Lau, and by August Wilson’s play Gem of the Ocean. The phrase 'city of bones' is a reference to Wilson’s play."
—Afaa M. Weaver

Flux


I am a city of bones
deep inside my marrow,
a song in electric chords,
decrescendo to mute, rise
to white noise, half silences
in a blank harmony as all
comes to nothing, my eyes
the central fire of my soul,
yellow, orange, red—gone
in an instant and then back
when I am, for a glimpse,
as precise as a bird’s breath,
when I am perfect, undone
by hope when hope will not
listen, the moon wasting
to where I need not worry
that bones turn to ash,
a brittle staccato in dust.

Copyright © 2013 by Afaa M. Weaver. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on December 5, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2013 by Afaa M. Weaver. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on December 5, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Afaa Michael Weaver

Afaa Michael Weaver

Born in 1951, Afaa Michael Weaver is the author of several collections of poetry, including City of Eternal Spring (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014), and a full length play.

by this poet

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Can we just stay here in the space where our loud laughing
won’t disturb the mausoleum of St. Peter, three times denying
the purple iris, can we hobble the horses to the hitching post
in front of the post office and let everything fall out of where
we put it to be delivered, can we call the

2
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This wall is a great stairway, walls
are things that shoot up, keep out, line
the places where we mark the halls

that carry our names. The busts
of this one and that one, this history
is in the hard labor of hearts, thrusts

of piston and valve. I sit down
at the first house,

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If he hits the curve before you do, all is lost
is all I remember when the coach yelled out
to start, to kick it down the short straightaway

into the curve, the curve a devil’s handiwork,
with Worsenski ahead of me, two hundred sixty
pounds, one hundred pounds more than me,

and all I