Lit Issue 2018 | Poetry

new witchs familiar

it’s a honey moon
tonight, they say:
when lovers learn
to take leave.
(a rose moon
or strawberry—
sweet, wet, full.
earth’s blood mirrored
there in her gleaming)
last night there were six gunshots
outside our bar
& tonight they don’t know
if we hear fire works
or loud play
that will kill our children.
I don’t know what to do
about babies in the street
so I lay my crystals in the
moonlight to be bathed.
I would rather
feel witchy: see
hard earth as clean.
baby a black cat
has a wet rose tongue
too. or did you think
a tense superstition
could roll over
& lay its soft belly
bare for yr light?

Lit Issue 2018 | Poetry

the ambiguity of light

for Rekia Boyd & all who loved her

the afternoon your best friend’s
sister’s murderer
was acquitted of all charges
I was sitting in f******* Starbucks watching
20 or so black boys from the high school
running down State St. w/ the new
exhilaration of a bird gone to flight even at
the price of a fight or a weapon. I froze
& stood feeling the fear break the window as
the cops were called & the white man sat
outside, smirking & sipping on his iced Venti
Whatever chatting w/ the undercover
white cop in her gleaming black car
the boys dispersed, & no one was shot
though I was crying in the bathroom at this
seeming inevitability.
I was wearing thick white & thin lilac,
quartz & rosewood on my wrist
it had felt like a time
you said you loved
seeing yogis squirm
to keep up, their bodies
nearly breaking. I thought
it is easy to love the wrenching or
the obviously tragic it is harder
to love the uncertain the look on
a face when it is deciding whether
to freeze or run or die or kill. it is
harder to love the ambiguity of
forgiveness. your never knowing
if you had to or were right to
& what will come of it
the judge said,
the law said,
it was not reckless manslaughter
but “beyond reckless”
so he could not continue
he said,
this is a place for reasoned
decisions & her brother
started screaming
I was wondering how
to be
on this planet
if it will always revolve around
such a pompous & burning
form of light but it is not as if
we didn’t choose
to be here
shouting at the detail
wailing in ambiguous light