look how far we come/

look how far we come/
what adroit steps we set as rigging
what litanyblade and bullet we pull tight for sail
what breach
we bloom bottle against/
name hull/guide toward longer breath
blood don’t run toward freedom/it just run
littoral/liturgical/a world-making emulsion
mixture of bone and spirit
unguent for civil society
how many touch thumb to forehead
in worship of distance from this watched body/
shadow in relief/
a sharp wave made canonical through its breaking
and then what?
and so we shall continue/
the perfection of discard
golem empty of speech
gilded by a filigreed absence
made to welcome any sudden fill
to wear exchange as a shining gown of silver wave
to know pleasure as unsigned promissory note
its brief float in the foam of offshore breaking
we play thief to our own silhouette language
hidden within midnight’s unctuous gristle
two hands clasped/
the most mellifluous shovel
to dig is beauty-in-circumstance
providing a name to drape over the chasmic
in that shroud
we can forget
how we must forgive the blood
before it spills
and then what?
biometric terror of release
an opening up to like hands
in a boundless era of adrenal misfire/
kin gathered within panorama of noose
our love is forward-looking calisthenics/
thoracic ethos
black enough to decrypt the wave at its crest
black enough to unhitch the ocean from its gangrenous wagon
to loosen one impossible hull
with our impossible breath
brave to tunnel overboard/
dig directly into oceanbody as spade
brave to stay in the hold’s caliginous jaw/
stomach-vectored flesh
swallowed to map the dimensions of the throat
every back hoarded by wave is archival
every limb we press to shore is athenaeum in shadow
the breach met and endured/
shaped with an unknowable lathe
imagine lending this much to the earth

Three Poems

when I imagine myself / I am always leaving / I couldn’t draw my own face if god asked


How many stars named after black kids, or light-years until / the next supernova? I want him to know what room America has left / for black love, black boys, black families. Maybe. Hopefully.