There are only two answers to the questions
this hour puts forth: yes or no.
On the eve I carry a plastic tray for blackberries
to the recycling bin. A mighty wind in the gangway,
a charged current that almost blows the trash from my hands.
It feels decisive, it is knowing.
Twelve hours later thoughts hiss like bubbles
in a thick pot of salty grits. A fatty mind
full of clumps, sticky wells, holes.
I am sitting at a coffee shop, the sunny seat. I am cold.
In my line of sight a black and white photograph
of maybe 80 or 90 white boys with bicycles.
They pose in front of a store window,
“Prizes for the road race, this Monday 3:30 pm!”
There is rage in them. How else might they mobilize,
where does this misfired glare into my breakfast,
into the future, initiate?
It is hard for me to hold onto a thought today.
Maybe it has been this way for a week.
Maybe it has been this way since I was a child.
Maybe there is a static in all of our minds
from a cloud of charged particles
like invisible heat from a solar flare,
radiation from a chemical weapon,
Invisible, mutating, cancerous.
In a city like Chicago I did not realize
to what extent a bedrock of ignorance was the future,
was present. I am present with it,
its presence crawled into bed with us
when the alarm beeped at 7am, I put a hand
on your stomach where it might hurt you first,
and told you he had won.
There is a toxic shit ready to leave my body.
There is a violence that is about to pierce a tapestry,
still on the loom, of protection. There are rageful white people
that will be beckoned from their hiding places
to hunt, massacre, deport, deny, divest, to reap for their god.
They will pose with their guns for the photograph
and we will be forced to gaze into their rotting eyes.
To love and protect,
I want to love and protect.
I know what side I’m on
but I am unfastened just now, acid in my bowels,
about to shit myself under the Montrose tracks.
An unnatural warmth glimmers through yellow November leaves.
Before I learn to fight I must live in furious truth,
setting traps for stray particles of confusion
in the spaces between me and you
so that together we will win.