Thursday, October 27, 2011

it's africa midwinter

it's africa midwinter
the sun sparkling down on us all
swaying from side to side
to paul simon's stolen diamonds

i stare at the one-armed bandit bench
playing wheel of fortune
as barbaric little monkeys play
or fight for supremacy
signified by whatever plastic trinkets can be wrenched free

and us
behind the cage
pretending civilization as animals
pour out of the silhouettes of salt shakers and condiment bottles
onto our plates

blue thugs

the car glides
in the dark
smoothly up to the curb
creeping right up to me
under the bridge

two big men
with their
short-cropped hair
faces clean-shaven,
their pressed shirts tucked in

silvered-up epaulets
enlarging broad shoulders
hip-holstered guns about
leather-belted waists

they tell me of danger
that lurks all around
are you not from 'round here?
i make no sound

they close in, menacing
show us, dear, what you've got
smiling at each other
grinning with glee

then they nod knowingly
recognize my anger
laughing because they know
how scared i am

i want to go home
to be anywhere but
here trapped between these two
hungry pressed faces
in clean-shaven shirts

don't worry
they tell me
this won't hurt the baby
their fingers filthily slide
all over me

over every surface
in every orifice
rolling my textures
'tween fingers and thumbs

it's dark, i barely see
and that makes me wonder
if the stars had been out
if i would see

but there's no light at all
so i'm left wondering
what it is that i did
to deserve these

later, i'll be called names
like "whiny, little bitch"
that with my stranger's eyes
i'd asked for it

then it's my long hair
then my sweet innocence
then it's my fear of them
drawing them in

that i should have known
how could i not have known?
that's just what these men do
who doesn't know?

now, once again it's late
and i'm on my way home
the streets are quite quiet but
my heart's pounding too fast
anger is welling up
as if they're watching me
and i expect them to
come for me soon

i almost hope for it
now that that wall has been
breached, and all my fears let out
from that ancient box

perhaps the next time i'll know
how to defend myself
a thousands brave retorts
all of the right actions
re-combinations of
that night's events

a thousand clever thoughts
each one's context upset
by the curt and simple fact
that they can't change the past

Saturday, October 1, 2011

palm reading

i sit cross-legged on the floor
rocking upon my thin mat
with my bible spread open
on the floor in front of me
to another blank page

i slap my bookmark into my palm
its razor-sharp edge biting through
the skin curls back as if ashamed
to have been hiding such wonder

blood plasma slowly begins to ooze
from the cleanly sliced edges
swirling into the centre
drying into a hard, chitinous disc

slowly, tentatively i touch fingertips
to the translucent surface
no longer my own flesh, but solidified
yet my fingers slip through

finding purchase in the unknown
they grip, they tug, pull myself in after
slowly, carefully, twisting through
i'm peeled back as i move forward

i peer into the blackness
a universe unformed
waiting, a great galaxy heart
beating, like mine

this otherwise unblemished, innocent space
contaminated, right from the start
for inside-out, i still carry
the baggage
of all my race