It was 1963 or 4, summer,
and my father was driving our family
from Ft. Hood to North Carolina in our 56 Buick.
We'd been hearing about Klan attacks, and we knew
This air is flooded with her. I am a boy again, and my mother
and I lie on wet grass, laughing. She startles, turns to
marigolds at my side, saying beautiful, and I can see the red
there is in them.
After I stumbled through the gauntlet, after they had hit me
As hard as they could,
Some there only because there was someone else
To be brought in, I joined them
To make it back home across town,
we had to learn to walk
only through black neighborhoods.
Think about this as the map
It would be unfortunate if the idea of multiple selves
obscured the fact the self is still
responsible for the terror it makes in the mind.
It would be a mistake if the multiple meanings
And then we began eating corn starch,
chalk chewed wet into sirup. We pilfered
Argo boxes stored away to stiffen
my white dress shirt, and my cousin