In suburbia

I’ve been listening to the slave
singing all day out there
in the cotton fields
singing all day to
whatever is near
I’ve been listening and watching
while he digs his foot into the clay
stamps his heel for a drum
clears his throat, whistles–
harmonizes wind with
hum
a barebone and skin
symphony
of one
I’ve been listening to the clap
of his hand to
thigh
his voice sprung from upheaval
of back and knee
ringing like twin gargoyles
through summers relentless
heat
a 16 hour gospel
rich as the earth’s mineral
hovering a surface
of empty pews
wet with earthly
sweat
rung dry by the staunch glare
of white sons
picking cotton from blossom
scattering blood on thorns
string and horn chorus returns
forlorn
forlorn
the beat routine as
my recurring dream
pricked by the flower’s
nail
letting the finger
know sorrow’s old
wail
I’ve been listening
to the body’s song
melodies sweet as
Chopin
the thunder of Beethoven’s chords
stripped, naked
laying on a bed of
straw
a body–anybody
awoken from blissful
sleep
by the sharp blade of dominion
cleaving men from men
out in the fields, the sprawling
fields
where rows of kin bend
anonymous over stems
clearing their throats apparently
for them
a song pollinating the air
where even hatred is not spared
its melodious
bereft
every hour passing a day
year–a glimpse of a star
motherless sparrows
warbling the bush at dawn
for anyone
but quick the slave master’s
piercing stick
pokes at the soul
as it were a pan
of flesh
stoking coals of rebellion
the hot sash and groan
of broken thumbs
enmeshed
in deafening choral drones
a corporal storm
that turns by itself
to song

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