Monday, June 11, 2007

In the First Place (Dannette)

for Dannette

in the first place
your heart sounded polyphonic pixels
and just because traditions
of life giving time

which is to say
your calling
to sun and bass
with stolen chic
designer pluck
badgirl beauty of tough

i knew
in the first place
you were more than enough
to set phone lines shaking
tango wireless
into lifted up nows

because you must have
a sturdy stance
planted in every day
with a spring
that could kick, spin or spray

so what i thank you for
what I watch to know
and count on in your grace
is the high-fidelity structure
of play


for the mothers in UBUNTU

which is the place that screams
above or below
crossed or between
which is the place that glows

radioactive half-lives
split asymmetrical to exit signs
who bleeds brighter
when the power goes out

which is the place that opens
ten times past imagination
which is the place that stretches
widening heart
wrestled hand
wondering mouth

whom is the light that beckons
when is the space that bends
why is the broken branch
none of these lines have question marks

because you

the answer is you
the answer is here
the answer is now

but the awe
for the asking
the what that remains
is how
not which but how
not why but how
not where
warm walls of falling down
but how
and how

Rachael Dee

since the earth hums
mountains and mercury
out of yes

or the sun holds notes
that grow past whole

as the green
of asking
pushes spring boards to wings

and birds wake up ready
to shake a wet everything free

your song is a start
is a swing through the heart
is a smooth tethered table
to healing
to hope and
to home

Ariana Christine Gumbs

for Ari (My Grown-Up Little Sister)

since reality tv-shows
have better background music
than anything that radio touches

and unknowing, our cities
sing morse code light shows
to the over patient sky

since penguins have wings to stretch
whether or not they choose
to fly

and steel-boned buildings
still somehow learn
to sway

or since cupholders embrace
and sunglasses frame
and coconut milk
sweetens while it tames

if there is such a thing
as my life at all
there must be
there must be

Walidah Imarisha

for Walidah

there's a way that
walls knock aside
or at least take a deep breath in
when you move by

so making way
by any other name
remains shakeable

and stone structures
geometrical or metaphorical
shift to get
shaped down into movement

so this is a warning
to any building bold enough
to imagine it preceeds
or survives you:

bad ass sista
taking place
making room
coming through
brace your stumbling blocks