The Death of Innocence


the innocence that wrote
love poems and captured beauty
like life could be kept
fire-flied in a bottle
fled slowly/ leaving pragmatism
on the dresser in a shade of
clouded jade there is little
to say of love or beauty both
fade or die loud or silent deaths
suffocated under life/ which is
funkier that you imagine in
innocence where optimism lives
precariously perched on pearly possibilities
possible always looks smaller in rear view
mirrors/ the reason appears larger
in rooms where torches have passed
memories demand attention guiding
action and inaction where is
innocence we are all baptized in the blood
we are Emmett Till, we are Amadou Diallo,
we are Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown
we are legion too many names
for innocence to remain
we know/ someone must speak
the blood the teeth with swords
screaming vengeance balancing scales
sand weighed against blood
no ink can hold this travesty
this cotton fueled feud sprung
out of the ocean raids that
made warriors slaves no ink
can hold the truth bound twisted
buried invisible/ we know because
we remember we do not have
to be told any more than the bones
say we need know no more than the
dust knows the dust knows all it
says there is no innocence just
blindness we know/ knowing
writes different poems it knows
the salt of the tale refuses to
be distracted it knows listens to
the bones remembers
struggle it knows sweat persistence
ingenuity longs for even ground on
which to stand knows forward knows
storm knows blues
knows it knows so it breaths fire/
wont be quiet or still no harmonics
in chaos three eyes on the prize
fire on the water poems
dust and bone poems that talk
back to cotton vowing to un-write
ink and remember being born
free with dignity and everything
poems that sing harvest songs
written by old women who

dream the bones remembering

knowing so we know