August 1, 2015
after Kara Walker’s A Subtlety, or The Marvelous Sugar Baby
Come on boy, say Sweet. Say it
swift, man-like, no soft snaking
on the S. You such a sweet boy.
Give daddy some sugar. Come
here, sit on my lap, you so sweet
to me. Let me bite your sweet ass.
Put your hand here. Your skin
so beautiful next to mine. You so
sweet, stick your pinky in my tea.
Let me hold you between my teeth
like cane, bite clean to the sweet
marrow, chew, and spit a clear arc
clean through the brown-gold heat.
He had told me to circle the lake.
Smell of pepper and pine resin.
Black people died or went missing
that summer, everyday it seemed,
and here was someone who wanted to find me.
We drank red wine, heavy and bitter.
Like hands of a clock, sunlight swerved across the lake;
terns mixed their shadows and bodies with the water.
When he laughed, a little foam
gathered on his incisors. He helped me into the wild grass
and slash pines when I couldn’t walk.
There is a roof one man’s body makes over another.
Pine needles on sharp grains. This is what I remember.
This is how I escaped the world. A little foam.