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It was aggressive

It was aggressive and suggestive
I knew there’d be fire
I knew I’d get burned—
The suggestion of a
world in a tear drop, like
some sad misconnections—
stale, chilly and rife

Mom would say when I’d
ask for something she thought
trivial, “What do you think,
that I’m made out of money?”
For the American and Caribbean
slaves, their opposition was often
short, violent and episodic

Many of America’s founders were men
of means but not enormous wealth
Many of them owned slaves
and suppressed them then
by violent, vicious means, with
the arrogance of the living as
they stand around our deathbeds

At a favorite dinner place
grandma would slip the uneaten
dinner rolls into her purse
“They’ll just throw them away
and I can have them for later” The
restaurant folks didn’t care—they
were onto her and others like her

Our acts are over determined,
never just one cause or reason
I’m lucky—relatively unscathed
by life’s losses, always plenty
to eat and a place to lay my head,
in a long, uneventful, peaceful life
Still, I’m troubled sometimes looking

back because so much is over
No hope for a changed outcome,
the past passes in a blur—No chance
to be with those lost to me again
“He’s not much of a speaker
but no one has a better heart
or a clearer head”

Dad tried to teach us children
manners, because in a world without
manners our vicissitudes of loss,
our interconnections with life
and each other, are far too harsh
“I wish I could kick it
with him, one more time”

My love, our love is an enigma to me,
stronger than me—you give me
what you can, I see that now—Every
fraught gesture is a fiery cascade, where
tender electric vectors are vivid ties
of fiery gifts, the mysterious bonds
of our lives and this place 

-August 8, 2020-