—after Charlottesville but before it, too, shit

They called me to speak on the problem
& told me I could from my home
where children’s crayons & software
are riots of color & murmurs.

Sometimes my hours spent as days
of spinning my head from years & eras
just all the time
in tombstone columns. Look:

I’d speak on the problem.
I do. N & I
had happened was misgiving it
as ours in our home,
we nicked & dug at it that night,
all the while reckoning us as spading
at what’s ours until we knew what we could do,
then kissed a while
(this looks like crying when
your mouth is your skin).

The problem, though,
had our numbers, our children’s
good shoes are made of cinders,
the pairs stay everywhere they go
even when they haven’t been,
since it, the problem’s

what we must do/have done’s
the problem, I said
I been saying. Like I gots to tote some sick hearts
on my back, a gurney—
or my blood a soap for dirt
their shit made into
ours. N said: that’s why the nerves,
the kind of what she say
but that’s just what I’m saying is
after this problem we made love.
& that’s somebody’s problem,
over there.

We were at it, our backs ours,
& as though magic
those tombstones slanted to appear a ward
(view’s skewed thus when your standing’s
to be prone).

I say:
must I speak on their problem,
that when we’re our, making love is it

Poor interviewer’d chew the detour of their invisible tongue
& the spit they’d spit, too,
would be so clear
so/yet thirsty, I speak on.

A problem:

night after that instance,
my daughter clambers
our bed for half the night, after
reading about ghosts.

My son, though, slept,
a babe, under blades,
fan spinning back to where it started
& to where


For the Provocations series, in conjunction with UCI’s “Who Do We Think We Are” conference.