Lights down at seven in a city of unquarried emotion and chainsaw love;
I have lost my way again on the gnarled grey road to salvation.
I find Baltimore—Where I visit the bonedust of Poe.
How strange that this man’s old midnight alleys have become
So modern, and just as quickly dilapidated again,
new faces old faces, and old faces new:
Lost opium tenements are a sweet Vandal’s canvas.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust; but
Trust is nonexistent here: righteous, I try to buy my way
into a darker world by dropping small change
into eager chiming cups: no luck;
I am still as disastrously coloredas a politically incorrect Band-Aid.
Would that I had some staying power to heal these rare saccharine sores—
but it has proven beyond and above my help; even with hair of angel
An angry group of urbanite wharf rats (twice removed from the underground
railroad, I’m told) preach to whoever stops to listen: me.
They read my aura directly hovering off my nude skin and call me satan:
Jesus is black.
Black transient jesus! Black god! Black angels! My, but this shatters
everything towards which we grinning mad chessmen have worked—
birthed bloodily, a crystal shard connotation of white good
and black evil.
I had not noticed in my years if Jesus were white: the point seemed moot
considering how many lashes and how many insults hurled as stones. But,
might one Christ, even lashed,
equal an entire culture
heavily uprooted sickly springing
from Africa? Likely not! Perhaps it is time for us
to get ours; me mine and
we could spend a leisurely while at turn of lathe
or drive of gin or mule,
in service of those who served us,
(then switch off again by centuries so as to promote racial equality)
But I think
has changed only for Poe:
and will again