I, politically compromised, took
two cents from the homeless.
Tuned out trigger warnings
and walked through the unfamiliar
unarmed. There was Michigan’s blue
season, my tongue in cheek, campus
under snowflaked spell. Reform
was supposed to bring dark thoughts
to light and us to each other.
But tonight isn’t a safe space.
Tomorrow is far.
The creatives have thrown away
their curdled comedy for belonging’s
smooth song. What I’d give to speak
without signs or the too-convenient
head hung like accessory.
O poet at the fork, give up the grief
pretending to be art. Give up the lust
for diasporic blood.
The blood is not diasporic.
Your testimony is just a quick fix
and dawn will not remember
the eloquent nothing confessed. Truth is,
I don’t know how to handle pain either.
Which words to frame life
lived on the hyphen, fill in
blanked past? Afraid that flesh
will become fiction, I awake
screaming for a nerved body.