The wind and the water take selfies in my mirror

pardon the rivers on my face

but I’ve seen too many closed into earth

without their insides ever seeing the light of day

what say you when your lover’s womb

is the middle passage the ancestors

never made their way through

when spirits are thrown overboard

before they ever reach shore

lines under my eyes all silt and sink

every poet’s words bout motherland

or sea crossing was a holy hand of nature

was Oya’s breath whispering gales of the decades

old levees behind my eyes

watched parts of me crumble into an ocean

wide as god’s mouth last year

watched infinity pick its teeth with my little traumas

marathon got a little brisk thinking

no one’s waiting at the finish line

but learned how to pat them thighs and firm

up the hind parts regardless

of course my masculinity’s fragile

I said to everyone in particular

it ain’t shit but water and sand grown old

tried a fresh new look last year and the water had its way with me

got beached whales on my cheeks

the shape of my daddy’s last night

and the night she said it’s over

least I got timestamps for my grief run its course

my old self passed on the baton last year

said the sack of bricks can die with him

I’m trying to adjust to the weight loss

something about feeling light as a feather

makes me feel naked and afraid of heights

at the same damn time

yeah, sure it was me the whole time

I said to everyone in particular

poetry is therapy session as public performance

or service announcement take your pick

everyone’s invited

this avalanche slowly is brought to you

by sporous sickness gone viral

meets another snuff tape gone the same

meets mildew round the yellowed edges

of once sacrosanct paper holding

the pictures of dead old white men

meets the chained & bound descendants

of the chained & bound

locked in the belly of a beast

packed tight as undigested food

in a raging sea rising with the foment

of ancestors gone too soon

which brings me back

to that levee behind my eyes

it never stood a chance

nor some of my best laid plans

this year’s resolutions are small fish

blurred beneath the rivers falling from my face

I can almost sea clearly now

my face is the beach after the storm

best laid plans all karmic driftwood

mixed with toppled infrastructure

ego is a house meant to broken

which way from here?

I asked everything in particular

the wind said follow the water

The Ellisonian Basement is a collection of my writings on Blackness & visibility in the post-modern world, OR Duboisian double consciousness under surveillance.