after the 1933 film White Zombie starring Bela Lugosi
you do not stop at tree limbs
creeping into cinereal, palm roots
in the path of darkness.
you drive into the midst
of Black people burying their loved one
in the middle of the road,
this path taking you past the parish
to the plantation to be married,
king, queen, to be marred not in the cards.
you drink the poison, yet can taste only sweetness.
you, the most dangerous type of zombie there is.
you say nothing, play Liszt on the piano,
you cannot hear your lover saying,
rather you be dead than in the hands of natives,
only them calling you in the middle of
the nightmare you stir from.
& you think have been cured,
what your master means when he toasts,
to the future—a dream you outlive.
you keep on keeping on,
a hard figure beneath a white sheet
waiting for a hand.
you do not know you are a zombie yet.
right now, you are in love.
Still Life: ˈblæknəs
after “Abstract Painting” by Ad Reinhardt
Space outside of time shaded line of ant husks pelican eels in the aphotic zone
or dusk in a deciduous forest that raccoon city a mask for the eyes a horizon of crow feathers
preceding home That’s so Raven Telephone like, what is a new moon if not
a black hellebore in bloom? The queen of clubs a book Till the curve of spades
till the renege grrrr in a dog’s throat ore spots on my grandfather’s liver
afro textured hair on the barber’s floor helix shapes snaking out of the head
The contents of Louis Armstrong’s horn sheet music for Beyonce’s Halo angels with dreads
Ebony where the roots meet Mississippi soil coal as Audre Lorde’s bewitching
balled into a gloved fist at the 68’ olympics Pupils expanding after the fire—after A starless night
how Martin Luther looked beneath its umbra his theses spreading like light Redacted lines
regarding U.S. troop presence in sub-saharan Africa Oil spilling after the accident Data leaking
into the dark net Becoming the color of the dreams we can’t remember
dreams in which we could have done, been anything: laughter, a cry, a moan an infectious
tone. the color of silhouettes consuming reds, whites. Blues If they capture you—you