the boy, who is not a boy, & i, who is barely
me by now, meld into a wicked, if not lovely
beast, black lacquered in black, darker
star, sky away from the sky, he begs, or
is it i beg him to beg, for me to open,
which i do, which i didn’t need to be asked
but the script matters, audition & rehearse
the body – a theatre on the edge of town
chitlin’ circuit opera house, he runs a hand,
praise the hand, over me, still red with hot
sauce, is that what it is? his hands, jeweled
from me? a robin? a wagon? our red child?
pulled from me: a robin, a wagon, our red child
with dead red bird in his hands, dead child
in red coffin on wheels, parade out of me
second line up the needle & into the vial
all the children i’ll never have, dead in me
widow father, sac fat with mourning, dusk
is the color of my blood, blood & milk
colored, chalk virus, the boy writes on me
& erases, the boy claps me between
his hands & i break apart like glitter
like coke, was there coke that night?
my nose went white then red all over
thin red river flowing down my face
my blood jumped to ask him to wade.
my blood got jumped, ask him to wait
before he gives me the test results, give
me a moment of not knowing, sweet
piece of ignorance, i want to go back
to the question, sweet if of yesterday
bridge back to maybe, lord bring me
my old blood’s name, take away
the crown of red fruit sprouting
& rotting & sprouting & rotting.
in me: a garden of his brown mouth
his clean teeth, his clean answer
phantom hiding behind a red curtain
& i would sing if not for blood in my throat
if my blood was not a moat.