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In Awe of Scavengers

Mine is an address to a stranger
saying: Again Matthew, I am not you, nor do I listen.
The sky is a cypress weeping
          or a weeping cypress:
     reversal became a fascination lately.
Also prayers. Give to me O’ Muse, the wisdom
to know the difference. Give a hot pot
          that burns to touch. Give that dawn in the nursery
as you hold your first grandchild
     in the soporific daylight of your arms
like two declarations:

1. How the best songs have harmonicas in them
          & speak something impenetrable as loneliness—

2. That your mother is owed
a sincere Thank You
                             for nine months of languish & a lifespan of worry. (trust me)

Shorter days beg you into seasonal gloaming,
tear wet rags in the center of your chest,
hide your hands in black pockets
          on a black coat
worn at the corner of Hardview & Shame

where a personal trainer stole my ’92 Air Jordan’s,
where I once sobbed & no one came to stem the levees.

Just as the 9th Ward where a man, decrepit, his face a gnarled root twisting,
     prods the remains of his home
with a cane, prods the cane with his eyes,
     magnolia-stained, grooves turning up
to its handle, a hooked question
     that will never leave his mouth,

the Desire’s wreckage pulsing.     Evening remains like brushfire.

Posted 10/10/09
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