Mike Brown watches the theatre of my dream he peers
into it like a diorama I’m surrounded by white
people those people don’t talk but I can hear their thoughts
smell like sardine innards
palindromed in an oily gun barrel
their minor thoughts are
a suspect stench I can’t clean
out of my ghetto
This is my fear now:
my rage makes me illiterate
my rage makes me illegible
my rage makes me illegal
my rage makes me illegitimate
my rage makes me ill
my rage makes me illicit
my rage makes me illogical
my rage makes me exactly what they’ve been taught to think of me
I go to bed angry
[I just want to ask him questions.
What was your favorite thing to do when you were high?
When did you learn about the Holocaust?
Who was your favorite celebrity?
What was your favorite strain?
Had you ever been to New York?
What makes the wind blow?
Does all our grief keep you bound here?
What makes the world feel so small?
When did you know you were dying?
Do you know who invented bells and why?
Did you ever want to go abroad?
Are you alone?
Did you like poetry?
When did time begin to be a measured thing?
Did you leave any books unfinished?
What sort of things would you think about during church, if your mind drifted off during a sermon?
When did you learn about Jim Crow?
What was the last thing you dreamed about?
Who was your favorite musician?
What accomplishment were you proudest of?
Was there ever a song that would make you cry when you heard it, no matter what?
What star is the energy of your existence now a part of?]
I wake up from this dream and cry
The last time someone I love died I was two. My grandmother. I don’t remember how it felt. I know that I cried. No one could understand what I was saying. I was saying that I wanted her over and over.
I feel like a fool when I cry now.
I say their names so that they begin to chafe my skin. So that they draw boils to the surface. Like a salve I place their names unto the sores of history. Their names, smoldering cinders falling on my exposed skin.
I say their names to blister pretty pink ears. Sores ooze, I chant their names off cadence. Create a cyclone of interruption. A cuckoo cocoon for the delicate piggies. Real demons to tear the piggies apart.
Their name is a stone heavy word I hold in my mouth to keep from biting my tongue. I think of the way I call my darling’s name when they is so close to sleep but I am not. If I say their names will I disturb them?
Standing in the kitchen. I’m high. I get higher. I’m crying. Breathe I tell myself. With each breath a ghost grazes my tongue. Chest full pregnant with ghosts. How am I supposed to reproduce when I know what I know. I know that I’m going to die. Every few hours my phone asks me How are you feeling? I refuse to answer. Most of my summers were spent crying in front of my computer. Quietly. In someone else’s empty house swollen with my grief. Now I’m a ghost that everyone can see. Do I spook you?
I cannot hear polite words anymore. I cannot compute the gentle tints of garish white paint. Grandma’s China. Cotton Ball. Ancestral. Silver Lining. Patriotic White. White Opulence. Picket Fence. I cannot go anywhere without feeling ghosts reaching out to me. From the trees. And the trees reaching out to me. And the blood soaked in the dirt down to the mantle. The blood staining the air. The blood churning the sea. The blood reaching out to me. I cannot look away.