Literary Zone

Poetry: Not Even These Lines

12 July 2016 at 05:46 | 3232 views

Not Even These Lines

By Willie James King, USA.

We are spared nothing Yusef says
in " Landscape for the Disappeared"
and somehow I believe him now, as
another siren screams through what
might otherwise have been a calm
night, on the eve of summer; I lie
listening to drought’s fingers dig
into dirt porous as cotton, where
the last of dandelion’s leaves are
no longer succulent, and tree frogs
cry out as constant as crickets, or
cicadas. How come they aren’t
competing? That’s not what their songs
say. If I could touch air, take it into deft
fingers and tease it, I could lift the lid of
this thick swelter. Fools! I call them:
farmers crying out over failed crops. What
about our own skin, sweating, ready
to be razed to rind, hull of crackling?
Now, drunks are devouring Christ,
as a scab grows about our city.
And yes, we are spared nothing, Yusef,
not even these lines that say this.

(c.) America, May 27, 2002, Willie James King.

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