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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

Afaa Michael Weaver, 1951


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 and a full length play.

by this poet

poem

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,

poem
                in Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary

In general population, census
is consensus—ain't nowhere to run
to in these walls, walls like a mind—
We visitors stand in a yellow circle
so the tower can frisk us with light,
finger the barrels on thirsty rifles.

I got rambling, rambling on my mind

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