where i first learned to story

i first learned to story

while traveling the universe

of my mother’s womb

parliament and p-funk

somewhere nearby her rondo digs

moving in waves of sound

its algorithms circling

like the earth itself

rotated by turntable

 

sometimes i feel like

my body still re-members

the story of that place

the fragments of that

black cosmos

more material than

the madness

turning in my stomach

 

that madness

a troubled fault line

howling a litany

of trayvons

and marisas

of mcdowells

and oscars

and terrences

 

sometimes at night i meet them

in that cosmos like we’ve all

met there long ago

 

and there we speak of love

and dance

and forge myself

another mouth

to speak a trickster tale

loud enough to wake us

from this dream

 

it seems we’ve been dreaming

so long we are no longer

able to place our bodies

in time

 

this rupture blurring

whip and gun

shark and noose

ship and jail

 

and so we forge a weapon

of our own there

which we use

to wail in registers

of nina and billie holiday

a judgement that refuses

to leave our bodies hanging

from the clothesline

wandering always

 

and as we are elevated

by the whirlwind

of this jury of our peers

jury of jazz and blues

trickster tale and escape route

we rebuild a home

that resembles the cosmos

where i first learned to story.

 

 

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