Sunday, December 29, 2013

American Income

By Afaa Michael Weaver

 The survey says all groups can make more money
 if they lose weight except black men...men of other colors
 and women of all colors have more gold, but black men
 are the summary of weight, a lead thick thing on the scales,
 meters spinning until they ring off the end of the numbering
of accumulation, how things grow heavy, fish on the
 ends of lines that become whales, then prehistoric sea life
 beyond all memories, the billion days of human hands
 working, doing all the labor one can imagine, hands
 now the population of cactus leaves on a papyrus moon
 waiting for the fire, the notes from all their singing gone
 up into the salt breath of tears of children that dry, rise
 up to be the crystalline canopy of promises, the infinite
 gone fishing days with the apologies for not being able to love
 anymore, gone down inside earth somewhere where
 women make no demands, have fewer dreams of forever,
 these feet that marched and ran and got cut off, these hearts
 torn out of chests by nameless thieves, this thrashing
until the chaff is gone out and black men know the gold
 of being the dead center of things, where pain is the gateway
to Jerusalems, Bodhi trees, places for meditation and howling,
 keeping the weeping heads of gods in their eyes.

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