Wednesday, August 24, 2011

here we go again

Heart Condition
by Jericho Brown

I don't want to hurt a man, but I like to hear one beg.
Two people touch twice a month in ten hotels, and
We call it long distance. He holds down one coast.
I wander the other like any African American, Africa
With its condition and America with its condition
And black folk born in this nation content to carry
Half of each. I shoulder my share. My man flies
To touch me. Sky on our side. Sky above his world
I wish to write. Which is where I go wrong. Words
Are a sense of sound. I get smart. My mother shakes
Her head. My grandmother sighs: He ain't got no
Sense. My grandmother is dead. She lives with me.
I hear my mother shake her head over the phone.
Somebody cut the cord. We have a long distance
Relationship. I lost half of her to a stroke. God
Gives to each a body. God gives every body its pains.
When pain mounts in my body, I try thinking of my
White forefathers who hurt their black bastards quite
Legally. I hate to say it, but one pain can ease another.
Doctors rather I take pills. My man wants me to see
A doctor. What are you when you leave your man
Wanting? What am I now that I think so fondly
Of airplanes? What's my name, whose is it, while we
Make love. My lover leaves me with words I wish
To write. Flies from one side of a nation to the outside
Of our world. I don't want the world. I only want
African sense of American sound. Him. Touching.
This body. Aware of its pains. Greetings, Earthlings.
My name is Slow And Stumbling. I come from planet
Trouble. I am here to leave you uncomfortable.


joel coburn said...

that first line! god, yes.

Robby said...

I had my mother mail your package a few days ago. Billie Holiday's voice never ceases to amaze me.