Knowing is the pigeon’s foot, A stroke of orange, in my memory-- Stepping like a saint Into God’s stare, toward a single crumb, Placed there intentionally,
Passed through doors, quark-size & invisible. Usually it takes too late. Usually it takes too soon, To realize the multiverse of miracles; the two feet Of distance painted white & yellow, keeping the 18 wheeler In the working class lane as Ms. Barbara, the driver, calls it
Or by the flight in the monarch’s flutter. Or the fading light reaching for the Flower Lady’s face, no longer A twenty-five year old beauty, her mother daily repeats. She’s up the road now, in a nursing home no one would dare call dignified, I,too, knew
The amber wave shaking like brick dust, Off the bell’s curve. I suppose I know the color Of the place where the sky meets the ocean. Might you imagine it too? Might you imagine water --
The color of your been- gone-too Long mother’s cremains. Keep Your cavities dry when you shower, A measure to keep the children safe. At times the mothers want to disobey
Their own advice. After the judges proclaimed their bodies did not belong to them but to the state, M-I-crooked letter Crooked letter I- humpBack, humpBack I PP-I Their blood warmed like curious liquor.
-- W.J. Lofton is a Black, Queer, Southern, American poet. He is the author of the poetry collection A Garden for Black Boys Between the Stages of Soil and Stardust. His poems have been featured in TIME Magazine, Platypus Press, Rust & Moth, and Scalawag Magazine.