I can’t help but think of bodies
spoon-fashion in the belly of a ship.
Gods pour us into molds they dream;
Legba mends hope, the breath-cup, footsteps
in plaster of Paris. A bird
so perfect, the wind steals it from my hand.
Inscription on a vase-
I am whatever it holds,
songs that fit into y mouth.
I am without mercy because I am what
night poured her lament into,
here on the edge of Kilimanjaro.
All the raw work gone
into each carved ghost
of antelope, loved no less than the gods
who spring from out loins.
whatever shape we think
will save us, what’s left in us preserved by joy.
We don’t trade
our gods for money. The hot wax
bubbles up like tar,
& the dream’s scaled down
to a gazelle, a figure
with Benin printed on the forehead.
How about a lamp to see by?
Two hands folded together
as a drinking cup, something that simple…