duffle recalls black pastoral

Harlem West


what do I do with this coy god’s touch
or the exiled boy woven in me since 06′?
in heat we’d play house
with rosy form-fitting fluff and berry blush,
our training bra packed with newport pistols
til we seen how women tilt with a housing womb.
now the boy squints when I shave,
and ties my headscarf crooked
each time we turn east for prayer.
I hear we’re maverick, a burdensome black.
after wrenching these dark knees to ruin
we sit painted for ceiling mirrors,
legs crossed atop an aging oak pew
blood bound and black pastoral.