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.