—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.