Up Above My Head I Hear Music In The Air After Sister Rosetta Tharpe
The data glow nameless, bruisey and extinguishing as cigarette on skin.
We’ve talked about this. I watch the skyscreen go again black, purple, blue;
the ending colors. Heat, extinctions, fascia. Nothing refreshing alters.
But we’ve talked about this. I brush soot from wound, wash, apply your balm. Mint.
This stretched week I have worried for the name of the tree on the corner,
which the dog always sniffs in a slow circle, then marks-- the tree with whispering seeds,
future-shaped, all wing and fat fecundity. Then
you kiss the syllables into my left ear:
I'm brown as earth with an ॐ tattoo but I remember the image. You've seen it: pearly gates, pearly man, good or bad, in or out. Hey, it's pretty, I admit, clean, something to look forward to. My mother said that about the weekend and big meals, both of which tire you out. Speaking of you, break my head open again and ask me whether St. Peter looks forward to anything. Or perhaps he’s content with his pearls? Smearing nacreous doves against my vision and the taste of cold brick or revenge served. Gasping maybe my last in the alley. Alveoli and vision narrowing. Please, if this is it, please: let me not pass through the pearls. Let me drink them in vinegar like Cleopatra. Like Angelou, let me dispense them from my dark throat. Please.
-- Mihir Bellamkonda is a poet based in DC, currently working on their debut collection, or, perhaps, sleeping. Their work is published or forthcoming in The West Trade Review, The Offing, and Jet Fuel Review, among other journals.