Disembark the Turners seem to say,
those starburst barges glowing in the dusk,
but I can’t read old Rembrandt,
his guarded eyes are jewels, like black men.
Even the loaned, marble busts
of kings and soldiers fail to arrest you.
It’s nearly closing time. The elderly linger,
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The Lost Woods as Elegy for Black Childhood
There used to be no one here,
where cypresses and oaks play
shadow puppets on sawgrass.
You heard the music before
I did: tambourines, pan pipes.
Remember how I woke clean
to meet you each morning?
The dew and the dust?
Remember how you’d catch me
as I fell from trees? Someone
heard and hurt us. I’m Black-Eyed
Pea. You’re just Skull Kid.
We wanted our genius to last.
We never wanted chalkboards
or snow. We never came home
before the streetlights buzzed.
All we do is dance in leaves.
Cackle and Dreaming, we call it.
Our mothers call it grief.