Joshua Asante

children of the scarlet Scattering,
my heart turns counterclockwise and burns
backwards into you.
timed ties are singed
and come undone.

i know you are there.

and that you are also here,
in the ache of the now
and the hollow of yester.
it does not matter to me
what others think.
life peels us like capsules of blood
until only love remains.
only the longing, or fear.
and we continue on beyond
the semicolon of death.

that is what they could not know,
the seekers of your light and land,
they themselves wrung out and exposed
by their lusts.
was it the twilight in your skin
that set their minds upon the
assegai of rage,
into the murderous indifference
of the sea rebirthing itself.
was it your dance or your blues and hollers,

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coded in tongues that
would not beckon them
beyond their peripheral lives?
when you reached for
the warmth of suns
that were not there, and for lovers
and children that you could not shield,
what joys seeped and wilted their hearts?
envy is a blue spell turned red,
claiming the edges and roots.
and now your bodies/

braided in atrophy/
blazed upon pyres for 6 nights/
weighted into the Mississippi/
and into earthen furrows
hewn from the soils
that sing your names/

Eugenia
Leroy
Louis
Gibson
Hattie
Ruth
Walker
Willie
Calvin
Edward
Granger
Glass
Jackson

are churning.

for it is the yearly Gathering
of ghosts in my throat,
so i am wearing
my grandmother’s ring.
the one with the Gilded coin.
they do not speak to me.
they tie my words together
by their tails.
two by two.
three by three.
and i can do nothing.
be nothing.
until they are gone.
i beseech,
let me kiss war from
your mouths, spew it all into
the waterways of the Delta
rich with the sediments of
your bones. 

i am your son
and song. 

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