When I Am Queen

                           For Derrick Austin

Mood: Akasha glides into the Admiral’s Arms
like a clean, svelte claw; the wound
surrounding, young glove, can’t call itself
a harm, too caught up in every second
of becoming, gored into creation,
gorgeous. Look at her:
angles, ancient geometry, ruby,
gold, bone, and sapphire sashay
lethal as beaks of falcons. She dances a night
with talons in it, a quiver inside an emerald.
They look, their mouths syringes, thin with the muteness
mutilation snakes shining out of. It is too late,
later than usual, for them, their abuse of her black gift
dull and purple on their little lips—
the plum thieves. Her disappointment swivels,
oh mother, magnetic on her axis. Her hips,
bare scythes, equate. The orbiting eyes
of the coven recover; they want to abduct her
anachronism. They don’t know the world
is still such a narrow throne: you must have
the walk for it. These kids have
the waste about them, have been bastardizing
night in and night out the world’s restless
circulation, slick as sewers, tooling around
with just as much promise in them.
She takes in all of this as she
takes in blood, what she knows
better than anyone now that the king’s
blood is also hers, taken, his neck excavated;
the arteries, like cliff-city alcoves, deserted.
Mood: every place is a small plate
you push up to, its conversations
overlarge spoons scraping the same images,
loosely contemporary, unimpressive. She obsesses
this basic corner of earth into what it can be—
carnage, brazen and cindered in the dim light.
And here is a heart to eat,
giving up to her the pulse as does
one of those old-world horses she recalls
needing—it beats from a cleft in the present
and rears, its mane crazy against the fire,
its joints twisting into haphazard brackets
until the shriek of a different beast
emerges by the shoulders from the long throat,
exceeding the horse’s expired muscle
in majesty. This is the song
in the song they thought they knew,
had picked it up on their stroll of mere centuries
until she, not a history, still writing,
wrote it on the floor. And it is too late.
Let what won’t learn burn. She is already walking into
her crown, sliding on the fit of eternity. Some prince
bored with being has been singing to her,
trying to, his growl draining
out of this moment’s pure instrumental need.
And his need—she will feed there, too.

Two Poems

A nickname for God: The Lord Elephant. Lord mule.
Lord’s acres. Hospital Lord. Texas for God Alabama.
God’s sea of blue tarps.

Ode to the Loom

Sweet loom, old friend of an old woman / you are an ancestor she prays to